The Make Believe Museum Shop

Emma Carlow invites you to explore the museum gift shop of her dreams at Pollock's Toy Museum this winter. Peter Gray reports.

Pollock’s Toy Museum have this week announced that they are teaming up with the UK artist, designer and maker Emma Carlow for the Make Believe Museum Shop project.

The gift shop of her dreams

A site specific collection of imaginary items which Carlow would like to find in the museum gift shop of her dreams, the installation will grace the Fitzrovia museum from late November to the end of December 2021.

Visitors to the museum will also have the opportunity to be part of one of Carlow’s free workshops where the artist will guide participants through an immersive and creative hour of how to make the playful items on offer.

Unique souvenirs

If that were not enough, Carlow is also planning to create a collection of ‘unique souvenirs’ that reflects Pollock’s diverse collection of over seven thousand toys.

“Having access to a toy museum as original as Pollock’s is a dream come true” says Carlow of the toy museum project. “The museum is a character in its own right and getting to know the collection is a bit like getting to know a family. I didn’t anticipate that the dolls would come to mean so much to me.” 

Emma Carlow

The artist’s passion for creating things harks back to a childhood desire to fashion playthings. “I truly believe that making things is fundamental to learning, self-expression and imagination” Carlow says of the inspiration for her work. “I want to share the benefits of making with others, to design products that invite people to have a go at home.”

In the past, the artist has worked with such distinguished organisations as the Glyndebourne Opera, the De La Warr Pavilion and The Watts Gallery Artists’ Village in Surrey. For Pollock’s, Carlow will showcase her traditional yet modern sensibility in a project which will also highlight the craft traditions which underpin her practice.

The UK’s oldest toy museum

Pollock’s Toy Museum is the UK’s oldest institution dedicated to historic toys. Housed in two historic Georgian houses in London’s Fitzrovia, the museum is administered by the descendants of the woman who rescued the collection from obscurity, Marguerite Fawdry.

The venue impressive array of tin toys, teddy bears, dolls houses, puppets is augmented by an unparalleled collection of Toy Theater’s alongside a comprehensive archive of plays and plates. It is this depth and variety that makes the museum such a compelling place to visit. 

The Make Believe Museum Shop (details)

The Make Believe Museum Shop will be on display at Pollock’s Toy Museum from the 19th of November until the 31st of December 2021. More information about the exhibition can be found here.

The “Make Your Own…” workshops will take place on the 20th and 27th of November and the 4th and 10th of December 2021. More information about the events can be found here.

For information on other great exhibitions in London, please click here.

-London's Best Events-
What: exhibition
When: 19 Nov - 31 Dec 21
Where: Fitzrovia