A Great Museum is Being Born
As Maria Montessori, founder of the educational systems that bears her name, said, “Play is the work of the child.” And if play is the child’s work, toys are the tools that enable it. The International Toy Museum will recognize, study, display, and celebrate those tools of childhood.
The International Toy Museum (ITM) is a place for understanding and celebrating toys and play. It is intended to serve children, families, the young at heart, collectors and researchers. It will be a center for both art and science. It will be fun. It will be a place of learning. It will be a place that people want to visit over and over again.
The ITM will provide exhibitions on all types of toys and toy topics, including the history of toys, antique toys, toys preferred by girls or boys, and toys from around the world.
To do so, ITM intends to establish both physical and digital toy museums containing displays, hands-on play centers, and the Build Your Toy Workshop. There will be conventional displays of antique and rare toys along side of interactive “Play Along” exhibits for “touching encouraged” enjoyment of toys.
ITM also intends to sponsor art and toy-making workshops, puppet shows, toy-related fairs, festivals and celebrations for people of all ages.
The Toy Museum does not currently have a physical location. We expect to open our first facility in October of 2014, and then build from that to the great institution we intend to become.
We want the International Toy Museum to have something for the entire family. We will have historical, geographical and ethnographical exhibitions of toys. For those who want to play, we’ll have Play Along exhibits and the Build Your Toy Workshop, where children of all ages will be able to build toys using traditional materials and some of the latest 3D printing techniques. We will also offer facilities for researchers to evaluate toys by observing and talking to children at play.
The International Toy Museum is in the process of developing relationships with collectors, collaborators, toy buffs, manufacturers and other people who love toys to help it start operations next year.To become involved with the ITM, or receive updates on our progress, click HERE, call 510 419-0800, or email Info at InternationalToyMuseum dot com.
The International Toy Museum is in start-up mode, and you can help.
You can help make the International Toy Museum a reality. The ITM is a IRS approved (pending) 501 (c)(3) organization, meaning that your donation may be tax deductible. Here's how you can help:
Collectors: Donate or loan your collection for exhibit. Your pledge now will help us increase support. There are ways for this to provide a tax benefit to you or your estate.
Donors: We are seeking funds for the first two years of operations. Please contact Ben Delaney,, 510 419-0800, if you are able to help. Your financial or in-kind donation may be tax deductible.
Toy manufacturers and designers: We need your help to make the International Toy Museum world class. Sponsorship opportunities are available. We also would greatly appreciate any donations of new or old toys and toy memorabilia, such as posters, advertising, boxes, displays, and the like.
Property owners: We expect to present our initial exhibitions in a pop-up location in 2014. By 2015, we intend to be in our first permanent location. If you have space to offer for short- or long-term lease, we'd like to hear from you. We are especially interested in locating in the Jack London District or Downtown Oakland, California.
Toy lovers everywhere: Donate or join the International Toy Museum to help us grow and thrive.