Unless “major capital funding” is found, Pollock’s Toy Museum, a fixture of London’s Fitzrovia district since the 1960s, will remain closed.
The closure comes after the museum’s trust could not negotiate a new contract with the owners of the Georgian house in it is situated, custodians Jack Fawdry-Tatham and Emily Baker announced in a statement.
“Due to a change in circumstances regarding the ownership of the buildings, we have not been able to negotiate a sustainable future for the museum collection at its current premises,” said Baker and Fawdry-Tatham, who also run the Pollock’s Toy Museum Trust. “Although this is heartbreaking news, we are hoping this will be a scene change and not the final act.”
The museum has been located behind Goodge Street since 1969, having moved from Monmouth Street, where Marguerite Fawdry established it in 1956.
Among Pollock’s collection is many toy theatres created by the Victorian-era publisher John Kilby Green.
Speaking to The Art Newspaper, Clare Finn, an art conservator and member of The Critics’ Circle, expressed her sadness: “I have known and visited the museum since my childhood. It is so much more than a mere tourist attraction. Its situation within that building encapsulates much more—it preserves an aura of another time. It is very sad to see it go but, in these hard economic times, this may be the fate of many small museums.”
Pollock’s Toy Museum has launched a fundraiser to cover the expenses of moving to a new venue.