Veronica Tonge sent me details (see below) of a very special Dolls House Exhibition that is taking place at Maidstone Museum at this very moment, and for the next few weeks. Sounds very interesting indeed, I am hoping to go myself if I can. The following is in Veronica's own words...
Re-imagining the Doll’s House
Maidstone Museum, Kent
15th September – 10th November 2018
Since January this year I have been privileged to research, as a ‘guest curator’, Maidstone Museum’s doll’s house collections, resulting in a collaborative exhibition of 9 historic doll’s houses combined with mixed media works by 12 contemporary artists, each inspired by the concept of miniature houses
Victorian houses on show include an estate made, six-room mansion of 1869, owned by the Whatman papermaking family of Vinters Park in Maidstone. Retaining original papers and full of typical Walterhausen furniture, European and British made household equipment and dolls, it fascinates both collectors and today’s children. A Silber & Fleming box back of around 1880, lavishly decorated in the fashionable ‘Aesthetic’ style, contrasts with a simple home-made mock Tudor house from the 1939-45 War.
Other vintage gems include a wonderfully accurate teenager’s bed sitting room made by a local WI group in 1963 (sited in the Museum’s ground floor to advertise the exhibition) which makes an interesting contrast with the mass produced, plastic 1990 Barbie Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio House!
Artist’s works inspired by doll’s houses include illustrator Jenny Kallin’s quirky takes on life in a vintage doll’s house, a 12th scale hobbyist house presented in an illusion of surreal decay and a hamlet of tiny houses made entirely of detritus washed up on the beach. Other works explore more personal issues, making the whole exhibition simultaneously thought provoking and delightful.
This is a ‘must see’ exhibition for doll’s house enthusiasts, and is already attracting a wide range of new visitors to the Museum who have made special journeys.
Guest Curator/Artist ‘Re-imagining the Doll’s House’