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Toy Stories and Winter Scenes from the Museum of the City of New York


A new exhibition at The UBS Art Gallery will bring the holiday spirit to midtown Manhattan through a presentation of extraordinary antique toys from the Museum of the City of New York's renowned collection of more than 10,000 classic playthings, dating back to as early as 1820. On view from December 15, 2003 - January 2, 2004, Toy Stories and Winter Scenes from the Museum of the City of New York will also celebrate New York's holiday spirit through paintings, photographs and prints of winter cityscapes. To celebrate this holiday show, The UBS Art Gallery, located at 1285 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, will feature special exhibition hours on Saturday, December 20 and Sunday, December 21, 2003.

Toy Stories and Winter Scenes from the Museum of the City of New York will offer a historic view of New York City in the holiday season, as well as children's prized possessions from past eras. Through images of classic New York scenes and landmarks, the exhibition will contextualize the toys, showing contemporary New Yorkers the city in winter over the last 100 years, and the toys that children of the past yearned to receive as holiday gifts. A selection of more than 100 classic toys of the 19th century and early 20th century will be on view, including toy soldiers, cast-iron vehicles, carved wooden animals, cloth and porcelain dolls, blocks and puzzles, teddy bears and stuffed animals. Exhibited together, the antique toys and holiday imagery will evoke the New York City of yesteryear, transforming The UBS Art Gallery into a festive, magical space. (right: Currier and Ives, Central Park: The Skating Carnival, ca. 1860, hand-colored lithograph, The Henry T. Peters Collection)


Exhibition Highlights

Toy Stories and Winter Scenes will include numerous handmade porcelain, bisque, papier-mâché and cloth dolls, meticulously crafted with detailed costumes. A highlight of the Museum's doll collection on view at The UBS Art Gallery is the Izannah Walker doll. Walker, a Rhode Island native, created this simple cloth doll (circa 1865) that shows the signs of years of play. This traditional American doll is contrasted with French bisque dolls from 1875, which are perfectly coiffed and dressed, their fragility carefully preserved through the generations. Created by the famous Bru Company and available only to very privileged children, the brother and sister dolls wear velvet and silk clothes, with crocheted collars and cuffs. Also on view will be a Kewpie doll from 1913, and an early Raggedy Ann doll from 1918, which were popular toys affordable to a broader range of children.

In addition to the display of antique dolls, the exhibition will celebrate the recent centennial of a classic toy-the teddy bear. These famous stuffed animals, whose American origins date from 1902 in Brooklyn, New York, were created in the likeness of a small brown bear that President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot on a hunting trip. The President's compassion inspired the toy bears, named "teddy" in his honor. The exhibition honors this history with a broad array of teddy bears from the early 20th century.

Other early antique toys on view in Toy Stories and Winter Scenes include carved horses and a lion from the 1820s, owned by the Clarkson family, notable New Yorkers who were leaders in state government and business. An intricately carved and detailed Noah's Ark, made in Germany in 1890, will also be on view, featuring miniature pairs of animals. Wooden blocks and puzzles (circa 1900), created by the McLoughlin Brothers toy company of New York, will be another exhibition highlight, as well as cast-iron horse-drawn vehicles (circa 1900) and a brightly colored toy train from the 1890s. 


Winter Cityscapes

Setting the scene for the toy collection, some of the Museum's celebrated New York paintings, watercolors, prints and photographs will also be on view in Toy Stories and Winter Scenes. Paintings in the exhibition depict all five of the city's boroughs in wintertime, including a snow-dusted view of Queens painted from atop the 59th Street bridge; Staten Island ferry passengers on deck, dressed for the cold commute; the Brooklyn Bridge rising above white streets; and a quiet corner of the Bronx in a silent snowfall. The oil paintings Winter Afternoon in New York (1900) by Childe Hassam and Washington Square, Looking North (circa 1913) by Carton Moore-Park capture the ways Manhattan's parks, streets and rooftops are transformed on snowy days. The exhibition will also include several Currier & Ives images from the Museum's collection, including an oversized hand-colored print of ice skaters on the lake in Central Park, as well as photographs by the Byron Studio, which document the removal of snow from city streets after the great blizzard of 1899. (right: Joseph Oppenheimer (1876-1966), Madison Square, 1900, oil on canvas, 30 x 34 inches, Gift of the artist)

Toy Stories and Winter Scenes from the Museum of the City of New York is made possible by UBS.


The Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, embraces the past, present and future of New York City and celebrates its cultural diversity. It serves the people of New York through exhibitions, educational programs and publications, and through its extraordinary collection of more than 1.4 million objects that reflect the city's remarkable history.  For additional information about the Museum of the City of New York, including programs, guided tours, special events and directions to the Museum, please visit http://www.mcny.org or call 212/534.1672, ext. 207.


The UBS Art Gallery

As part of its ongoing commitment to the arts, UBS sponsors five exhibitions each year in The UBS Art Gallery, located in the lobby of its building at 1285 Avenue of the Americas, New York City. Through its exhibition program, the Gallery offers non-profit New York-area arts and cultural organizations a midtown Manhattan exhibition space and the opportunity to introduce their programs to a new audience. The UBS Art Gallery enables many institutions to organize and mount exhibitions that might not otherwise be seen. These exhibitions encourage interest in the arts among the hundreds of employees, clients and members of the general public who pass through the UBS building each day.

UBS has a longstanding tradition and an abiding commitment to the support of the arts and culture. The UBS Art Collection, one of the world's finest assemblages of contemporary art, has traveled to major museums throughout the U.S. In 2002 UBS made a gift of 37 works from the Collection to New York's Museum of Modern Art, where they will be exhibited in conjunction with the opening of the Museum's new Manhattan home in 2005. A cornerstone of UBS's arts sponsorship platform is the firm's decade-long partnership with Art Basel, the world's leading contemporary art show. UBS recently became a sponsor of the new Art Basel Miami Beach, which brings contemporary works from 160 leading galleries in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia to Miami's Art Deco district. Other significant sponsorships include the only US presentation of The Heroic Century: The Museum of Modern Art Masterpieces, 200 Paintings and Sculptures, which will be shown at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in the Fall of 2003, and exhibitions at the Tate Modern in London, where UBS is a founding corporate partner.


Upcoming Exhibitions at The UBS Art Gallery


Holiday Train Show

As part of UBS' sponsorship of the 12th Annual Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden, a sample display of two model trains will be exhibited in the front windows of The UBS Art Gallery. The Holiday Train Show, on view at the Garden from November 21, 2003 - January 4, 2004, features nearly 100 replicas of historic New York buildings, all made from plants and other botanical materials. Adding a magical touch, the Garden's famous railway collection of model trains and trolleys winds their way through the miniature world. 

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