Sunday, October 05, 2014

Kidd's Toy Museum Mural

Here's a slideshow of the new J.Shea mural on the Kidd's Toy Museum building at SE Grand & Main St., painted for this year's Forest for the Trees mural thing.

I've never actually been inside the museum. I'd vaguely heard of it before, but didn't know it was here until I came looking for the mural and realized what it was attached to. Other than the new mural, the building is almost comically nondescript on the outside. On the inside is a vast collection of vintage toys, focusing primarily those produced before 1940.

Accounts of visits to the museum often warn that some of these vintage toys are rather shockingly racist. The common argument made is that it's important to not whitewash the past and pretend this stuff didn't happen. I can see the logic of this argument; a significant number of people alive and voting today grew up playing with toys like this, and there's some value in understanding where your whackaloon Tea Party great uncle got his ideas. I suspect, however, that this is one of those things that's easy to say as a white person. I don't imagine the "important historical artifact" argument would feel terribly compelling if I was the one being targeted.

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