A toy museum might not be the first place you’d expect to see an exhibition devoted to Marilyn Monroe, and yet, Basels’ Spielzeug Welten Museum – the Toy Worlds Museum – is the place to be if you want to pay homage to this legendary icon of the silver screen. Running until the 6th of April 2014, the museum proudly plays host to the ‘Private Marilyn’ exhibition, exploring the person behind the concept of Monroe, looking behind the façade of this glamorous Hollywood starlet.
With more than 700 items of original memorabilia and personal items on display in Switzerland for the very first time, this private collection, the largest in Europe, belongs to Ted Stampfer, a leading authority on Marilyn and aims to highlight Monroe’s lesser-known private side beyond her well-publicised marriages and liaisons with JFK.
Beyond the temporary Marilyn exhibition, the museum’s permanent collection makes for a fascinating visit for both adults and children alike and well worth taking the time to explore if you happen to be enjoying a short break in Basel. Not only will you find the most extensive ensemble of teddy bears – over 2,500 – in and from around the world, there’s also an impressive array of dolls dating back to the heyday of doll manufacturing (1870 – 1920) in addition to doll’s houses, miniatures, carrousels, shops and schools.
The Spielzeug Welten Museum is open daily from 10am until 6pm (closed Christmas Day and 10 – 12 March inclusive; be aware of shortened opening times over the Christmas and Easter periods). Entrance costs CHF 7 (CHF 5 concessions) and is free for accompanied children up to 16 years of age.