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Exhibition of dollhouses

From April 1 to May 1, 2018, an exhibition of dollhouses will take place at the Ilon's Wonderland. An art teacher Heli Mänd brings her collection of dollhouses of different sizes and ages with furnishing and dolls to the Ilon's Wonderland for a month.

The oldest houses are almost 100 years old, the newer ones are quite modern. The houses are made of wood, plywood, sheet metal, plastic, cardboard and an old suitcase. The collection features houses from Estonia, Sweden, Germany, England, and Russia.

The exhibition features introductory texts about some of the world-famous dollhouses and dollhouse producing companies, as well as tutorials on how to make a dollhouse just from recyclable materials. The collection of dollhouses is only a part of Heli Mänd's toy collection which has over 7,000 items. In addition to dollhouses, paper dolls can also be seen at Ilon's Wonderland.

Heli Mänd, an art teacher and a headteacher at the Tallinn Arte Gymnasium, said that her interest in old times and things rose thanks to her grandmother with whom Heli Mänd spent a lot of time together while she was growing up in Kiviõli and Peipsi. While studying theatre art at the Institute of Arts, she loved making small but veracious maquettes. The more knowledgeable collecting of toys began with toys that were at home. The first exhibition gave an impulse to selectively collect more toys. Heli Mänd's collection travels to various exhibition venues in Estonia. Since 2000, nearly 70 exhibitions have taken place.

The favorites of Heli Mänd are Swedish Lundby company's dollhouses, the interior of which reflects Scandinavian interior design trends. "I currently have 4 Lundby houses, the oldest is from the early 1970's, the most recent is from 2010. Some of the furniture is original, some of it is made by myself according to the pictures. The other important pieces include a suitcase dollhouse made according to the description of my mother-in-law, where old porcelain dolls live, and an old maquette of a house from Rakvere which is modified to a dollhouse, as well as a tiny English Tri-angle house or an East German dismountable plywood house," Mänd introduces the exhibits.

The exhibition is accompanied by an educational programme "Homes in games and in reality" for school and kindergarten groups. During the programme, children will find out who is a collector. Knowledge of the history of dollhouses is shared and dollhouses are compared with the real homes. After visiting the exhibition, the children will make a room of a dollhouse for themselves and they will have an opportunity to play independently in the playroom of the Ilon's Wonderland. Programmes have to be pre-ordered. You can book the programme by e-mail at imedemaa@salm.ee or by phone +372 5836 2803. Participation fee 6 € per person.

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