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Model Scene

Model Scene

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1946-1984 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Wynter, Susan, born 1923 - died 2013 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood, straw, metal, paper and canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Susan Murray

  • Museum number:

    B.71-2014

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

British toymaker Susan Wynter (1923- 2013) started making objects from wood when she was eight years old. Growing up, she lived in London near a billiard table maker where she would use the wooden off-cuts and leftover green baize to create her own objects. As Susan grew older and had children, she began to design toys for the nursery, focusing on both function and education. Through this new approach to toymaking, Susan Wynter began to gain international fame, exhibiting at the London Design Centre, the Venice Biennale, and in various trade fairs in British Pavillions.

Her business, the Toy Trumpet, began as a small toy shop in St. Ives where Susan started designing and making high quality wooden toys. Through her toys Susan was keen to promote exploration through and also designed toys for children with special needs. These toys were then sold to stores like Harrods and Fortnum and Mason. In the late 1960s Susan moved the business to Essex and settled in Brightlingsea where she employed local people. The company grew exponentially, providing toys for major companies like James Galt and the Educational Supply Association.

This small nativity scene made by Susan Wynter indicates her unique ability to update classical motifs. In this model scene we see two shepherds flanking baby Jesus in a small, but intimate moment. By focusing on one scene, Susan Wynter allows children and others to experience a new perspective on what is usually a very traditional theme.

Physical description

Nativity scene consisting of a stable formed by a rectangular base and a back wall on which a triangular roof rests. Painted on the backdrop of the stable is a brown star. On the base, by the wall, there is a manger containing baby Jesus. He is painted white along with black painted hair, eyes and mouth. Attached to his head is a tiny golden paper halo. He is surrounded by straw that appears to be coming from the manger.
Baby Jesus is flanked by two shepherds; they’re placed one in front of the other and they are identical. They have been painted white, along with painted brown hands, sleeves, hair, eyes, nose and mouth. They also appear to be wearing beige canvas cloaks and holding metallic golden canes.
On the back of the model there is a round stamp reading: “Toy Trumpet Workshops: Handmade in England”

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1946-1984 (made)

Artist/maker

Wynter, Susan, born 1923 - died 2013 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Wood, straw, metal, paper and canvas

Dimensions

Width: 8 cm, Depth: 5 cm, Height: 12 cm

Descriptive line

Nativity scene with shepherd, wood, made by Susan Wynter, England, 1946-1984

Materials

Wood; Straw; Metal; Canvas; Paper

Techniques

Painting

Subjects depicted

Shepherds; Babies

Categories

Children & Childhood; Dolls & Toys; Christianity

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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