Dolls, not just childhood toys. An exhibition in Genoa highlights their artistic and cultural value

Opening May 4, 2019, at the Falcone Theater in Genoa, the exhibition Dolls opens to highlight their history and artistic role.

Opening to the public on May 4, 2019 is the exhibition Dolls. Stories of a Timeless Passion from Lucca’s Frediani Collection, set up on the second floor of Genoa ’s Falcone Theater and open until July 28, 2019.

The exhibition aims to enhance little-known cultural assets that elicit a strong emotional, anthropological and sociological impact, and is part of a general interest that has led international museums to devote major exhibitions to the doll, from the historic Dolls Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in New York to the more recent Small Stories: at Home in a Dolls’ House at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

The Dolls exhibition aims to make concrete the artistic value of these cultural goods unjustly relegated to the realm of childhood by tracing their history, starting with Marian images and wooden mannequins from 18th-century Ligurian nativity production. The doll offers a wide range of readings: model of the human body, toy, instrument of religious and magical rites, fetish, mannequin, simulacrum, work of art, collector’s item, pop symbol.
Its history is also linked to artisans and manufactures, and drawings, photographs, catalogs, archival papers, letters and plans, materials and media will be featured in the exhibition.

The Genoese exhibition will feature the Frediani collection, an extraordinary collection of rare examples of dolls from the 18th century to the present day, previously exhibited at theState Archives of Lucca in 2012.

More than two hundred specimens will be on display in the Teatro del Falcone, testifying to the various geographical origins and different construction techniques and types: from Bakelite dolls to those in pressed cardboard, from those in cloth and papier-mâché to refined bisque models of French production, from specimens of the celebrated Lenci production to modern ones in vinyl and resin.
The exhibition also aims to highlight how over time the doll has been linked to the decorative arts, design, fashion and sculpture.
The exhibition will conclude with dolls from the second half of the 20th century, reflecting the contemporary world: from cinema to rock music, from photography to fashion, with a look at the collecting phenomena that characterize Barbie.

During the opening period of the exhibition, lectures by experts, scholars and journalists are scheduled to analyze the many aspects related to the doll: from the doll in literature and horror cinema, to its origins in the art of ancient Egypt; from modern dolls-surrogates in the work of great living photographers, to its relationship with contemporary art, in the hyper-realistic representation of the human body, from anatomical waxes to Maurizio Cattelan.

Simultaneous with the Dolls exhibition, an exhibition dedicated to the works of Antonio G. Santagata, The Memory of War. Antonio G. Santagata and Twentieth-Century Mural Painting.

The exhibition Bambole is curated by Elisabetta Piccioni and Renata Frediani.

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 2 to 7 p.m.

Tickets: 5 euros (including admission to the exhibition The Memory of War). Free up to 18 years old.

Dolls, not just childhood toys. An exhibition in Genoa highlights their artistic and cultural value
Dolls, not just childhood toys. An exhibition in Genoa highlights their artistic and cultural value

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