MUSEUM LEVEL 3
When approaching the topic of toys, the subject of playthings often evoke a sense of familiarity and happy childhood memories for adults. However, the act of playing can also be considered as the ‘work of children’. A variety of toys can be used to stimulate learning and children can benefit by developing useful skills. Particularly for stuffed animals and dolls, children learn to exercise empathy and seek comfort from caring for their cuddly companions. On the other hand, puppets can also teach children to pick up social skills through storytelling and role-playing.
LOOK OUT FOR THESE TOYS AT THE MUSEUM
Curated under the Theme of:
Classic Companion: Dolls from All Around the World
This is a Door of Hope Mission wooden doll of a young girl dressed in traditional Chinese costume.
She is one of 25 recognisable models of dolls representing the different social classes of the Chinese – ranging from a ‘Manchu Lady’ being part of the royal clan of the Qing Dynasty to a rural ‘Rice Farmer’.
The Door of Hope Mission was founded in Shanghai in 1901 to provide a safe haven for destitute young girls who were otherwise being treated poorly, sold as slaves or not allowed to be educated. These women were taught to dress and sew traditional Chinese clothes for hand-carved wooden dolls like this one.
No two dolls are exactly the same and that is why these antique dolls are a valuable collection and more importantly represents the struggles and empowerment of young women of that time.