13 December 2014 – 6 September 2015
This exhibition will reveal the fascinating stories behind some of the UK’s best-loved dolls’ houses, taking you on a journey through the history of the home, everyday lives and changing family relationships. The small stories of 12 dolls’ houses from the past 300 years will be brought to life by the characters that live or work there. Come and meet the residents, and discover tales of marriages and parties, politics and crime.
The exhibition encompasses country mansions, the Georgian town house, suburban villas, newly-built council estates and high-rise apartments. The houses will also show developments in architecture and design.
Many of the houses, their furniture and dolls have been specially conserved for the exhibition, with around 1,900 objects being restored over two years in the V&A conservation department. There will be a chance to see more of the Museum of Childhood’s extensive collection of dolls’ houses in the permanent galleries, where a further 20 will be displayed.
A new book published to accompany the exhibition, ‘Dolls’ Houses from the V&A Museum of Childhood’ (V&A Publishing, £14.99) by Halina Pasierbska, is out in October.
Small Stories will tour internationally from autumn 2015, visiting the following venues:
Museum of History and Contemporary Art, Turku, Finland, 27 November 2015 – 10 April 2016
National Building Museum, Washington DC, USA, 21 May 2016 – 15 January 2017
Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, 4 March – 25 June 2017
Weston Park Museum, Sheffield, 5 August 2017 – 7 January 2018
Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague, Czech Republic, 17 February 2018 – 13 June 2018
Supported by the Friends of the V&A, The Mercers’ Company and The Leche Trust