EXPORTED: Ellen Ziegler | Museum of Antique Toys | Entry #2

Today Ellen Ziegler continues her EXPORTED series on Vignettes and is taking us along on a field trip to the completely unique, utterly fascinating Museum of Antique Toys. Here’s Ellen:

Museum of Antique Toys | Museo del Juguete Antiguo México

Entry #2, Mexico City, Mexico – April 2015

The Museum of Antique Toys (MUJAM) in Mexico City is a wildly independent, DIY, earthshakingly original place, run by a radical father-and-son, Japanese-Mexican team, both of whom trained as architects in both Japan and Mexico.

The elder Roberto (Beto) Shimizu has collected over a million toys in his lifetime; the younger Roberto is creative director of the Museum and a founder of the street art movement in Mexico. He commissions street artists worldwide to make work at the Museum and to participate in public art murals throughout Mexico City.

My graphic designer daughter Susie Briggs and I (a mother-daughter team!) will be making an artist’s book about this fabulous – in the true sense of the word – place.

We shot a couple of hours of video for our three-minute Kickstarter campaign, interviewing both Robertos. They are fiercely committed to the neighborhood – poor and working-class – and to making the place a “cultural embassy” that artists from all over the world can visit and make work.

Don’t miss MUJAM if you go anywhere near Mexico.

MUJAM exterior and parking lot in the Doctores neighborhood, Mexico City.




Street art by ROA, Belgian artist, on MUJAM exterior




Repurposed salvaged mannequin displaying toys




Detail of Lucha Libre room: big collection of Mexican masked wrestlers (luchadores)




Salvaged ornaments from 50’s jazz club in the three-story light well.
Bands used to sit in the mouth of the mask




Diorama made from salvaged operating room light




Light well/hallway with Buzz Lightyear and street art
Also hula hoops from hula hoop festival




From rooftop street art collection




Front gate of museum




Portrait of Mr. Beto Shimizu on outside wall of MUJAM


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