Let's Play! New England Toy Stories

Heritage Museums & Gardens, 2020

Sandwich, Massachusetts

An exhibit for families about the history of toy design and manufacturing in New England.

Photography by Matthew Clowney

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Title Wall
Title Wall

Visitors are greeted by the exhibit's invitational title and a guessing game challenging visitors to guess the New England-based toys represented by the multicolor silhouettes along the base of the wall.

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Toy Design Studio
Toy Design Studio

The introduction wall is supported by the centrally-located Toy Design Studio, a hands-on space about how commercial toys are designed and created.

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Color-coded sections
Color-coded sections

The toys and games in the exhibition are grouped thematically and each group has its own color.

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Play games among the toys
Play games among the toys

The Game Tables are set up for visitors to play board games, surrounded by colorful displays of New England-made toys.

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Learning Toys introduction
Learning Toys introduction

Each section has its own introduction panel.

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Key Players labels
Key Players labels

Round Key Players labels spotlight influential New England toy designers.

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Hands-on marble run
Hands-on marble run

Unlike the other collections objects in the exhibit, this marble run is not displayed behind glass and has signage that explicitly invites visitors to try it out.

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Learning Toys
Learning Toys

The green Learn section displays toys that were intended to instruct or help children develop skills.

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Custom display cases
Custom display cases

I designed these colorful custom cases to fit the exhibition's midcentury-inspired design. A motion sensor in the lower support turns the interior lights on when a visitor approaches.

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