Musée de la Poupée – A Paris Museum Sure to Delight Kids:
An unusual Paris museum that is a good bet for children is the Musée de la Poupée, a private museum in the heart of the historic toy district in Paris 3rd arrondissement. With a permanent collection of some 600 dolls made between 1800 to 1959, themed temporary exhibits and a range of activities for children, the Musée de la Poupées is, according to their website, “a place of amazement” that is sure “to enchant children as well as the adults”.
Paris Dolls Museum
The Musée de la Poupée is a private museum of father and son Guido and Samy Odin. Opened in June 1994, it has recently renewed and relaunched its permanent collection which includes 40 displays comprising more than 600 dolls that were made from 1800 to 1959. The expanded permanent collection is now organized into four permanent galleries and housed in four rooms. Even if you have visited the Musée de la Poupée previously, the museum has a couple of new temporary exhibitions each year.
Room One – The collection of dolls in this gallery are from the period from 1800 to 1870. Visitors will be able to identify the function of the dolls, i.e. whether the dolls depict a holy object, a fashion accessory, tourist souvenir, etc. and the type of material used. Every type of doll from the first three quarters of the nineteenth century can be found in this room.
Room Two – Bisque head dolls were the rage from 1870 to 1919 and in this gallery are exhibits by prestigious French firms which dominated the doll market during this period. German dolls can also be seen in this gallery.
Room Three – This gallery features French dolls produced between the two World Wars (1920 to 1939). The dolls in this gallery show the move away from bisque to alternative material. This was the era of celluloid and bathing dolls, to which the museum’s largest display enclosure is dedicated.
Room Four – This room is where the majority of baby-boomers may find their childhood memories as the doll selections are from 1940 through to 1959.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
The dolls at the Musée de la Poupée are not merely play things for young children. Since its inception the Museum’s antique dolls have always been curated to recreate their culture and period in history. The dolls costumes are particularly interesting. Parents and grandparents visiting the museum will enjoy a trip down memory lane as they remember the types of dolls that existed when they were young, and lovers and collectors of toys will appreciate them in the context of history.
Activities for Children … and Adults
The museum runs a range of workshops and activities for children such as “discovery games”, making dolls and dressing dolls. These are particularly popular during the Paris school holidays. Kids can also have their birthday parties at the museum. If you have a favourite doll that has been damaged, the museum does doll repairs as well.
At the museum shop, visitors can buy a range of dolls, costumes and books about the history of dolls. The Musée de la Poupée has a nice garden café where visitors can have a snack. Adjacent to the Musée de la Poupée is the Jardin Anne Frank where children can release their pent-up energy after the museum visit.
Open: The Musée de la Poupée, the shop and the doll hospital are open from:
Tuesday to Saturday – from 13:00 to 18:00
During Paris school holidays – from 10:00 to 18:00
Closed on Mondays and holidays
Concession: €6 (Over 65, students, unemployed)
Child: €4 (Aged 3 – 11) and handicapped
Wheel chair access
Mental and auditive “Handicap and Tourism” National Label
Musée de la Poupée (Dolls Museum)
Impasse Berthaud (near 22 rue Beaubourg)
Tel : 33 1 42 72 73 11
Fax : 33 1 44 54 04 48
How to Get There:
Metro: Rambuteau (Line 11)
Bus: 29 – 38 – 47 – 75
Car park: Beaubourg
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