ARTS & LEISURE

Toy exhibition at National History Museum

The National History Museum of Romania (MNIR) is inviting you on Thursday to a special exhibition in tune to the winter festive season: ‘Bing. Magic of Toys’.

The exhibition includes collectible toys from the 1895 – 1930 period, pieces belonging to the patrimony of the Association of Old Toys Collectors. MNIR has shown in the last few years  constant interest in the universe of childhood, having presented on a number of occasions to the general public and specialists a series of historic toys, period clothes and children’s furniture, as well as historic photographs of children, be they toys specific for country children (‘Countryside childhood in the past’ – exhibition opened in June-September 2012) or for town children (‘Collection of children’s stuff’ – June-July 2011) and ‘From Father Frost to Father Christmas’ – December 2011 – January 2012). This time, MNIR proposes an exhibition dedicated to toys made by German company Gebrüder Bing (afterwards named Bing Werke) of Nuremberg, a firm that opened a new chapter in the history of all-time toys. Starting as a small firm manufacturing kitchenware, founded by the Ignaz and Adolf Bing brothers from Nuremberg in 1863, Gebrüder Bing was going to start its toy production in 1880. The Bing brothers proved that toy production and distribution could be ‘serious’ and profitable business and the ‘Bing style’ turned into an industry standard by 1950, when the newly invented plastic masses used at industrial scale were going to mark a new major turning point in the production techniques and general aspect of toys. Due to their rarity, beauty, ingenuity and intrinsic value, the toys made by Gebrüder Bing, showcased on the ‘Bing. Magic of Toys’ exhibition, are genuine masterpieces of the industry as well as masterwork of the European technology of the time. Their value is enhanced by the fact that most of the exhibits are still functional, although some of them are over 100 years old and have been through two world wars. Another extraordinary fact about these toys is that they often come with their original packaging as well as sale and price catalogues of the company, published before WWI.  The oldest toy on the exhibition is a magical flashlight with 12 glass transparencies, kept and shown in its 1889 original case. The ‘newest’ toy is a 1930 hydroplane.  ‘The ‘Bing. Magic of Toys’ exhibition would have not been possible if it hadn’t been for the generosity of the members of the Association of Old Toy Collectors who agreed to show their <treasures> collected with sacrifices and work during many years to children from one to… 99 years of age’, said MNIR General Manager Ernest Oberländer-Tarnoveanu.The exhibition comes with a bilingual Romanian-English catalogue which is a scientific premiere in Romanian museography. The exhibition will be open from December 6, 2012 to February 6, 2013, from 9:00 to 17:00 Wednesday to Sunday.

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