From Fatra to Merkur, Czech toys have a long and successful history both in their homeland and abroad. The early 20th century saw their story begin, and it has been intensively explored and developed since then. Drawing attention to unique Czech craftmanship, the “Mini Wonders” exhibition presents modern toy design as well as designs dating back almost a hundred years.
Since the first design was born in 1920, Czech toys have made a name for themselves internationally. They saw an unprecedented success at the Expo 1958 in Brussels, where Czechoslovakia showcased an exhibition focused on children world created by artist Jiří Trnka and toy makers Viktor Fixl and Václav Kubát. In more recent years, the interest in Czech toys was renewed thanks to Libuše Niklová’s 2011 retrospective “Plastique ludique” at the Musée des arts décoratifs in Paris, followed by the 2012 Museum of Modern Art exhibition “Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900–2000” in New York, which also featured toys by renowned Czech designers.
At present, a young generation of designers and illustrators keeps the tradition of Czech toys alive while giving them a fresh look. In return, toys present an opportunity for the designers to freely develop their imagination, exceed their own creative borders and fulfill their potential. The exhibition presents, among others, metal construction sets by Merkur, a wooden balance bike by Re Pello, inflatable plastic toys by Fatra (featuring award-winning designers Libuše Niklová , Zuzana Lednická, Anna Kozová and Jerry Koza), and magnetic wooden puzzles by Detoa. A wonder-ful experience indeed!
Exhibition curator: Tereza Bruthansová
Installation design: Anna Kozová + Jerry Koza / atelier SAD
Graphic design: Zuzana Lednická / Studio Najbrt
Project manager: Sandra Karácsony