Museo del Juguete Antiguo México

I had made this review of Mexico City’s Ancient Toy Museum on another site and I figured I’d share its translated version here:

Also known as the MUJAM, this place is a real mess. I think the words “museum” and “toy” in the name of this museum can create expectations of what it definitely ISN’T. In this building you are not going to learn much about toys, there is not going to be a big curatorial speech or cards or guides or practically anything from the common museum experience. There are practically 4 floors absolutely full of urban art and all sorts of antiques (I’d say only about two thirds of these would normally be considered toys), in many cases displayed however the staff felt like.

The discourse on how to exhibit these objects is basically “you look at them and let yourself feel whatever you feel”, which is usually nostalgia, or “well, I guess putting them all in a box full of glitter looks cool”. Going up to the roof and looking at the buildings surrounding the well-known Colonia Doctores, it is perfectly clear that this attitude is 100% in tune with its surroundings. From here you can see hardware stores and neighborhoods full of objects in exactly the same arrangement as in the interior. The museum not only exhibits popular culture, it exhibits culture in the popular way.

If you’re looking to learn about the history of toys, this really isn’t the place. If you appreciate creativity for the sake of “why not”, if you want nostalgia attack from the most absurd things, if you want to visit an exhibit where you have to turn on the lights yourself because the staff forgot to, if you expect the unexpected, the MUJAM definitely IS the place.

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