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Communication Dans Un Congrès Année : 2018

Toy Design in the Papastrateios School of Interwar Athens


This study focuses on toys designed and produced at the Papastrateios Vocational Public School of Toys and Decorative Arts in Athens-the only school founded in Greece to create playthings, during the interwar era, in order to reveal the artistic nature of toys. At a time when playthings were either imported or poor replicas of foreign originals, these toys, tokens of children's talent, exemplified the principles of the labour school movement, as conceptualized by the League for Women's Rights, who founded the School, and as realised in the practices of the contemporary painters and sculptors that staffed the School. Irrespective of whether the toys were made of wood, cloth, unbreakable paste, tin or paper, industrial or handicraft , countryside or urban, a means of instruction and/or an object of vocational training, they all assumed an artistic form which crystallized a particular understanding of Greek identity. This study examines the ways these modern Greek toys which served both tradition, as conceptualized by Benjamin, and modernity, and drew their inspiration from nature, the Nike of Paionios, the Kore of Euthydikos, Byzantine costumes and Hellenistic terracotta. These toys became instantiations of high art as expressed by children, not only in material but also in social and cultural terms and eventually were awarded first prize at the 1937 Paris International Exhibition.
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hal-02161394 , version 1 (03-07-2019)


  • HAL Id : hal-02161394 , version 1


Krystallia Markaki. Toy Design in the Papastrateios School of Interwar Athens. 8th International Toy Research Association World Conference, Jul 2018, Paris, France. ⟨hal-02161394⟩
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