The V&A Museum of Childhood stages new doll's house exhibition
A small but perfectly formed exhibition
The Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood has opened a new exhibition this December titled Small stories: At home in a doll’s house, and is a collection of doll’s houses from different stages in history. The exhibition is a unique way of chronicling the progression of domesticity and family dynamics across a time span of three centuries – and the unique showcase is bound to engage both adults and children alike, with the help of its interactive elements.
The exhibition comprises 12 diverse doll's houses, which take on a variety of forms from Georgian townhouse, suburban villas to council estates. Each house is set up with a tableau scene of characters, including props and decorations that correspond with a time in history. Visitors are encouraged to explore these through interactive narration control panels that light up different characters and provide context.
The cornerstone of the exhibition is a ‘dream home’ installation. A house with which children are actively encouraged to interactive and play. It will have frequently changing rooms that will be designed by a host of different local artists.
Some of the UK's most famous doll's houses that make up the exhibition include 'Tate Baby House', which has been passed down through generations since 1760 and even has some original wallpaper. It notably contains a lying-in room complete with a pregnant doll. The story of the Tate Baby House enters around the role of women during Georgian times in Britain.
Skipping forward to the swinging 30’s is 'The Whiteladies House' based on a modernist Hampstead home, which was designed by artist Moray Thomas and built in the 1930s. The scene, set by a cocktail bar, chrome furniture and a house party in full swing, depicts the carefree indulgences of the glamorous pre-war art deco period. Striking a stark contrast to this is the 'The Hopkinson House', based on the county council abodes of the suburban St Helier Estate, which features a second world war-era family braced for an air-raid, complete with miniature gas masks, ration books and blackout torches.
A fun and modern highlight of the exhibition must be 'The Kaleidoscope House', designed by Laurie Simmons – famed photographer and mother of the writer Lena Dunham. The house is aptly named as it is flooded with colour, art and quirky furniture.
The exhibition will run at the V&A London until September 2015