In the time before television, people created their own entertainment. Toy Theater was a wildly popular and simple means of staging dramatic spectacles in the Victorian living room. Combining the visual and performing arts, toy theaters were printed on paperboard and sold as kits that people assembled at home, including stage, scenery, characters and costumes often painstakingly painted and embellished by their owners.
We’re planning on having some samples of toy theaters included in our upcoming exhibit “Theaters of Dreams” in February. There are three paintings from the show posted on our website now and more to come.