Poking Around the Toymaker’s Home


Ever wanted to peek into the home life of a professional toymaker and artist? At a new exhibit at Los Angeles’s Skirball Cultural Center, now you can. “The Door is Always Open” recreates the childhood home of artist Gary Baseman and all its accoutrements.

Though his name may not be familiar to you, you’ve probably seen Basemen’s artwork, on TV in the Emmy-nominated series Teacher’s Pet, on the covers of the New York Times Book Review and The New Yorker, or on the board game “Cranium.”

As visitors wander through recreations of Baseman’s childhood home,  they can imagine how elements of those rooms have surfaced in his work. The study, which is filled with family keepsakes, guides visitors through the family’s escape from the Nazis. In the hallway, which represents journeys from one place to another, you can look at snapshots of Baseman traveling the world with Toby, his lovable cartoon sidekick. There’s even a wild backyard, and a den where you can hang out and play games.

If you think this sounds cool, note that the name is slightly misleading: “The Door Is Always Open” closes on August 18th.

Recommended from JTA