Joaquín Torres-García: the Arcadian Modern

*Jouets transformables Aladin (Aladin transformable toys)*

Joaquín Torres-García. Jouets transformables Aladin (Aladin transformable toys). 1930 60400

Joaquín Torres-García. Jouets transformables Aladin (Aladin transformable toys). c. 1930. Boxed set of toys, cardboard, painted wood, dimensions variable, case: 5 1/2 × 11 × 1 3/16″ (14 × 28 × 3 cm). Guillermo de Osma, Madrid. © Sucesión Joaquín Torres-García, Montevideo 2015

Narrator: Torres-García had worked as a drawing teacher at the Mont D'Or School in Barcelona, and came to believe that play was important as an educational tool. In 1918, he began working with a manufacturer to create a series of wooden toys.

Karen Grimson: The dog and the birds are composed of different shapes that can be reorganized and rearranged in a way that would allow children to interact with the toys. Torres-Garcia was interested in making this an available option to children because through the reorganization of the toys he could induce creativity and knowledge. So through playing he would be teaching the art of construction. For him, producing art or producing toys was one and the same.

Narrator: In 1920, Torres-García settled in New York. One of his goals was to explore the market potential of his toys.

Karen Grimson: He attempted over and over again to engage in partnerships with producers, getting to the point where he . . . had a storage space where these toys were being massively produced. In the mid-1920s, this storage facility burned down, and the entire stock of toys was lost.

Narrator: By 1926, Torres-García had returned to Europe and settled in Paris. Although he continued to pursue commercial distribution of his toys until the end of the decade, he had given up on large-scale production.

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