This symposium is organized in conjunction with the exhibition Swedish Wooden Toys at the Bard Graduate Center (Sep. 18, 2015–Jan. 17, 2016). Five papers will extend the conversation about toys as designed objects and as cultural forms beyond the gallery to explore their relationship with notions of children and childhood. The speakers, who include historians and critics of art, design, and cultural history, will address a variety of toy-related subjects from the eighteenth century to the present across Europe and the US.

Jeffrey L. Collins
Professor and Chair of Academic Programs, Bard Graduate Center

Susan Weber
Founder and Director, Bard Graduate Center
Amy F. Ogata
Professor, Art History, University of Southern California

James E. Bryan
Associate Professor, Art History, University of Wisconsin-Stout
Material Culture in Miniature: ‘Nuremberg Kitchens’ as Inspirational Toys

Megan Brandow-Faller
Associate Professor, History, Kingsborough College, City University of New York
Child’s Play: Artistic Toys and the Invention of Child Art in Secessionist Vienna

Robert Goldberg
Faculty, History, Saint Ann’s School, Brooklyn
Political Designs: Children’s Toys and Social Change in 1960s and ’70s America

Colin Fanning
Curatorial Fellow, European Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Building Kids: Design, Creativity, and LEGO

Alexandra Lange
Architecture and Design Critic, Curbed, Dezeen
After Wood: The Plastic and the Digital in Contemporary Toys

Swedish Wooden Toys is generously supported by Proventus AB and Gregory Soros with additional funding from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

Special thanks to the Consulate General of Sweden in New York, The American-Scandinavian Foundation, and Schylling Inc.