The story behind the founding of the Museo del Juguete Antiguo México (Museum of the Antique Mexican Toy) is almost as charming and intriguing as the collection of toys itself. Roberto Shimizu, Sr., who founded the museum with his son, Roberto Shimizu, Jr., began collecting toys when he was a child and in the decades since, has amassed a collection of literally millions of toys. He decided it was important for the collection to be accessible and visible to the public, partly to document the history of toy-making in Mexico and the world.
The space occupied by the museum covers several floors, but it's barely large enough to showcase all of Shimizu's treasures, which he has catalogued carefully in numerous notebooks and binders. That may be hard to believe, given the fact that the museum is crammed wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with toys of every type: from plastic soldiers to board games and Barbies to model trains. The museum is a cabinet of curiosities for the kid in all of us.
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Big-Name Street Artists in Mexico City
The support of institutions such as MUJAM means that big-name artists can receive institutional backing to create large-scale works, such as this piece by Belgian artist ROA. According to MUJAM director Roberto Shimizu, Jr., ROA's piece (located on the side of the MUJAM building) has attracted the attention and acclaim of visitors as diverse as "snobby art designers in their armored cars to members of street gangs."
The ROA piece is not the only one on the grounds of the MUJAM museum; the entire building and structures in and around its parking lot are covered with pieces by equally well-known and emerging artists.