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‘Toys From Wheeling Childhood’

Curator Tim Luke presents gallery talk, tour on Sunday

September 27, 2012
Times Leader

WHEELING - "Toys From Wheeling Childhood," an exhibit on display at Oglebay Institute's Mansion Museum, celebrates the spirit of childhood by exploring the history and fun of old-fashioned toys. Area residents can get an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour with antiques and appraisal expert Tim Luke, who served as guest curator for the show and handpicked each item in the exhibit from the Museums' vast collection of toys.

A gallery talk and tour with Luke takes place from 1 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30 at the Mansion Museum. Guests will enjoy an exclusive guided tour of the exhibit and learn Tim's "Seven Keys to Collecting" while discovering fun facts about the toys on display, their makers and the roles they played in the lives of the children. The program also includes a "Show & Tell" segment. Guests are encouraged to share stories, ask questions and bring in their favorite vintage toys for a special presentation moderated Luke. All ages are welcome.

Cost of the program includes general admission to Museum and the exhibit, Gallery Tour and Talk and Show and Tell. Children 12 and under are free and must be accompanied by an adult. For more information call 304-242-7272.

"Toys from Wheeling Childhood" is a family-friendly exhibit that examines the playthings that have entertained generations past through an interesting display of toys from the Victorian time period, 1870s, to the Baby Boomer time period of the 1950s and 60s.

With more than 100 toys on display, the exhibit is a miniature reflection of society throughout the ages and is interpreted through four main categories- 20th Century girls' toys, 20th Century boys' toys, Victorian toys and toy materials. The exhibit space is set up like a playhouse where visitors will enjoy 8-foot reproductions of World War I era paper airplanes suspended from the ceiling, life-size paper dolls, a larger-than-life game board on the floor taken from a 1920s automotive dice game and a chalkboard wall where guests can share their favorite toy stories and draw pictures of their favorite toys.

Oglebay Institute Museums director Christin Byrum sees the exhibit as a springboard to conversations among grandparents, parents and children. "Whether it's a doll, car, puzzle or game, everyone fondly remembers playing with childhood toys."

Luke agrees, "Toys generate sentimental attraction because they represent our earliest and most cherished memories. Those things we love to talk about. My goal with this exhibit is to get people talking about playthings. They will be awed, inspired, moved, entertained and learn something about the magic and value of playthings."

"Toys from Wheeling Childhood" is proudly sponsored by National Road Utility Supply Inc. with partial funding from the West Virginia Humanities Council. It is on display in the Sauder Gallery in the Mansion Museum.

For more information, call 304-242-7272.



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