Renate Müller: 50 Years of Toys and Design

5 April - 3 June 2018

Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway


Kunsthall Stavanger presents an exhibition, a playroom and a series of kids’ workshops by Renate Müller.

Honoring the tradition of German toymakers from the 1800s, Renate Müller is renowned for her handmade jute-and-leather toys—typically animals—which she began designing and producing in the early 1960s. Müller has spent her life in Sonneberg, Germany, which was once the epicenter of world toy manufacture. From an early age, she helped out in her family’s toy factory and later became a student at the Sonneberg Polytechnic for Toy Design, where she was encouraged by a teacher to create toy animals that could be used therapeutically for children with physical and mental handicaps. Inspired by this endeavor, Müller began to create the brightly colored, multi-sized menagerie she is known for today—such as seals, elephants, giraffes, and bears—which debuted at the 1967 Leipzig Trade Fair and were tested (and deemed successful) by German psychiatric hospitals and clinics.