Children’s Games from the Ellen and Arthur Liman Collection

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Instruction and Delight: Children’s Games from the Ellen and Arthur Liman Collection
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 17 January — 23 May 2019

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Wallis’s Elegant and Instructive Game exhibiting the Wonders of Art in Each Quarter of the World, ca. 1820
(New Haven: Yale Center for British Art)

By the beginning of the eighteenth century in Britain, parents and teachers had begun to embrace wholeheartedly a suggestion from the philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) that “Learning might be made a Play and Recreation to Children.”

The material culture of this period, and the subsequent generation, reveals a significant shift in thinking, as adults found fresh value in childhood and in play for its own sake. Continue reading

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