Palatial style accommodation fit for a...doll
Published 03/06/2014 | 15:49
Some of Europe's largest and most treasured dolls' houses are set to go on display in an exhibition which has been several years in the making.
Dolls' houses spanning the last 300 years and designed in the style of country mansions, Georgian town houses, suburban villas, council housing and high-rise apartments will go on show at the V&A Museum Of Childhood.
Opening in December, the exhibition will feature about 1,900 objects, such as furniture and dolls, which have been restored over the last two years by the V&A conservation department.
The exhibition, which tracks developments in architecture and design, is set to tour the UK, Europe and the US after it finishes its run at the east London museum.
The oldest house in the exhibition dates from 1712, and the largest one is 160cm tall with many of the dolls' houses built for adults rather than children.
Highlights will include The Tate Baby House, which dates from 1760 and was passed down through five generations of a family and includes original wallpapers, painted panelling and a lying-in room for a pregnant doll.
Another, from the 1830s, features a Chinese-style cabinet with gilded wallpapers, a four-poster bed and liveried servants.
The Hopkinson House shows a Second World War-era family in a council house preparing for an air-raid, with gas masks, ration books and torches.
A modernist villa from the 1930s comes complete with chrome furniture, a cocktail bar, futurist artworks and a swimming pool, while another - the most contemporary, from 2001, includes a modern step-family.
Curator Alice Sage said: "Dolls' houses are uncanny things, full of strangely familiar objects and funny little characters. The experience of peeking into the tiny rooms and seeing all the meticulous detail is fascinating for children and adults, and hopefully everyone will discover something new.
"Our research for the exhibition uncovered new characters and stories in the histories of these objects, and now we are using them to bring the houses to life in a fun and imaginative way."