The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures’s mission is to educate, inspire and delight adults and children through the museum's collection and preservation of toys and miniatures. The museum’s historical toy collection invites reminiscing across generations, genders, and lifestyles.
The museum was built from and fueled by the passion of two friends, Mary Harris Francis and Barbara Marshall, who loved to collect and loved sharing the wonder and whimsy of their collections with others.
We are the largest collection of our kind in the Midwest (toys) and largest collection of our kind in the nation (miniatures). At a time when museums housing collections of our type are closing nationwide, we are working to improve our interpretation and education to share the history of the common experience of playing with toys and the growing art form of fine-scale miniatures with a local and national audience. The museum is a portal to the past, a chronicle of the ways that our imaginations have served us over time. Children of all ages at all income levels have engaged in play across generations; the museum is a place for visitors to find common ground across generations, genders, and lifestyles. Our collection invites reminiscing, analysis and discussion; in other words, it is a vehicle for building connections.
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