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General Cultural Collection

General Cultural Collection

The General Cultural Collection or Humanities collection of approximately 20,000 artifacts represents peoples and cultures from around the world, past and present. Boston Children's Museum holds small, selective cultural collections from Africa, Asia, the Arctic, Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East and Oceania. In all cases, we collect objects that relate to children’s lives, as they are particularly effective in talking about daily life in a variety of settings. The objects in this collection describe: how people have lived and continue to live their daily lives; the range of objects they use (both objects of fine aesthetic quality and the more mundane, utilitarian ones); objects that directly relate to children’s lives, including educational materials, dolls, toys and games, and clothing. Wherever possible, these objects are well-made examples of their particular form, are well documented in terms of origin and history, and reflect the values and concerns of the particular community being represented. Highlights include the Anna D. Slocum Filipino Collection of almost 400 artifacts collected by the donor on a visit to the Philippines in the 1890’s. This collection is significant because it contains artifacts from cultures that assimilated after American colonization in the early 1900’s.

Browse the collection:

Coffee Pot, 20th century

 

Coffee Pot, 20th century

Turkey

Brass

Donated by Mrs. Robert G. Stone, 1946

MB 82 b

Day of the Dead Figure, ca. 1993

 

Day of the Dead Figure, ca. 1993

Mexico City, Mexico

Papier-mâché, wood

Purchased by Maroli Licardie for Boston Children’s Museum, 1993

2010.33.36 

 

Doll, date unknown

 

Doll, date unknown

Bahia, Brazil

Cloth, metallic thread

Donated by Mrs. Larz Anderson, 1937

SL 69

 

Elephant figure, date unknown

 

Elephant figure, date unknown

India

Plaster, painted

Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1938

AW 289

Galimoto (wire frame toy car), 2011

 

Galimoto (wire frame toy car), 2011

Kenya

Wire, rubber strips, plastic bottle caps, blue foam 

Gift of Boston University Africa Outreach Center, 2011

2011.30.4

Shadow puppet, 1985

 

Shadow puppet, 1985

Xi’an, China

Leather, vegetable dye, wood 

Purchased by the Children’s Museum, 1985

AF 85-3

 
Sabots, date unknown

 

Sabots, date unknown

Burgundy, France

Wood, paint

Donated by Miss Theo H. Twitchell, 1941

EW 151

Wooden Bowl, 1850-1913

 

Wooden Bowl, 1850-1913

Oha, Subprovince of Ifugao, Island of Luzon, Philippines

Wood

Donated by Miss Anna D. Slocum, 1913

OA 476  

Rattan Bag (Tupil), 1850-1900

 

Rattan Bag (Tupil), 1850-1900

Benquet, Island of Luzon, Philippines

Rattan

Donated by Miss Anna D. Slocum, 1913

OA 403  

Snuffbox, 20th century

Germany

Brass

Donated by Miss Louisa W. Case, 1944

EL 107