Build the Town Prototype Toy Block Set With Cars, 1941
Painted wood, painted metal, rubber.
Gift of Radoslav L. and Elaine F. Sutnar. 2000-76-1-1/52.
- Designed by Ladislav Sutnar
What is this?
Prototype set of painted wooden building blocks and toy cars and trucks: 20 rectangular blocks, 19 wedge-shaped blocks, 4 cone-shaped blocks, 9 cars/trucks. Blocks painted with various combinations of rectilinear forms in white, light blue, and orange. Vehicles painted in various combinations of orange, blue, and gray; one red and white car.
Why is this in our collection?
This hand-painted toy block set, a prototype for Build the Town (1941), is the American version of Factory Town (1922–26) toy set produced in Prague by one of the 20th century’s most influential designers, Ladislav Sutnar. The Build the Town block set went into production in 1942. The hand-painted blocks presented are reminiscent of the severe but elegant geometry echoed in the architecture of the Bauhaus, an influence that was likely felt in Prague during the 1920s. Though the blocks are indeed prototypes for toys, they are distinctly modernist in sensibility, their strong colors, even somewhat analogous to those used by the proponents of the constructivist movement of the late 1910s and early 20s,... more