Instruction and Delight: Children’s Games from the Ellen and Arthur Liman Collection

Thursday, January 17, 2019
Thursday, May 23, 2019

By the beginning of the eighteenth century in Britain, parents and teachers had begun to embrace wholeheartedly a suggestion from the philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) that “Learning might be made a Play and Recreation to Children.” The material culture of this period, and the subsequent generation, reveals a significant shift in thinking, as adults found fresh value in childhood and in play for its own sake. British publishers leapt at the chance to design books and games for both instruction and delight. This small display celebrated the recent gift of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century children’s games and books to the Center by Ellen and Arthur Liman, Yale JD 1957.

Instruction and DelightChildren’s Games from the Ellen and Arthur Liman Collection was curated by Elisabeth Fairman, Chief Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Center, with the assistance of Laura Callery, Senior Curatorial Assistant.

Wallis’s Elegant and Instructive Game Exhibiting the Wonders of Art, in Each Quarter of the World, London, E. Wallis, ca. 1820, hand-colored engraving, Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Ellen and Arthur Liman, Yale JD 1957