Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Strong National Museum of Play
The Strong National Museum of Play, in Rochester, New York, is a collections-based, family-oriented museum focused on play, particularly the cultural history of play, which, as the museum's mission statement asserts, significantly illuminates the American experience. The story of how the museum came to be runs parallel to scholarship's evaluation of play as a worthwhile subject for study. The Strong Museum was founded by Margaret Woodbury Strong, a Rochester collector who died in 1969 without heirs, leaving half a million artifacts, financial resources, and a museum charter, but no plan for how to organize the museum. Antiques appraisers and museum experts were called in to consider what sort of museum might be based on her collection. Themes that stood out to these initial appraisers were play, children, imagination, and fun, but in the early 1970s, none of these was considered a worthy subject for a museum. Many scholars did not ...