Dear Baby Jesus, I would like...
Exhibition of historical folk toys and Christmas decorationsLocation: Ethnographic Museum of the National Museum, Kinsky Folly, Kinského zahrada 98, Praha 5
“Dear Baby Jesus, I would like...” these charming words take us back to our childhood, our memories and the time of Christmas. The presents that we all have probably wished to find under the Christmas tree as children were the toys of our dreams or a real live pet. But has it always been like this? The exhibition with the nostalgic title, “Dear Baby Jesus, I would like...” will answer this and many more questions.
Children’s Christmas wishes began to be heard in the course of the 19th century, when children were already given presents during Advent by St. Nicholas and other mysterious beings, into their hands or in a sock or a shoe put behind a window. In Bohemia, the present most frequently given during this time was “The Garden of St. Nicholas". Presents have changed considerably over time - from daily necessities like clothes and shoes and things for school to less essential items, like toys.
From the Exhibition
And it is toys that the greatest part of this exhibition is dedicated to. It presents toys mostly from the collection of the Ethnographic department of the National Museum - wooden folk toys, dolls dressed in folk costumes and also in town clothes. There are dolls’ houses, various animal figures and other toys of urban provenance. Besides toys, we can admire the clothing of town children and various items of folk clothing which also may have been Christmas presents.
Do you wonder how children dressed to come to the festive Christmas table? The exhibition is prepared for this question, too. Several child mannequins dressed in various traditional folk costumes from 19th and 20th century Bohemia and Moravia and a town girl mannequin from 1920s Prague dressed in marvellous festive fashion will be on show.
The exhibition also features a beautiful cabinet nativity scene with great number of figures, advent calendars for children from the 20th to the 21st century, and Christmas decorations of various shapes, motifs and materials.