Whiteread’s dolls’ village for childhood museum

The monumental artwork Place (Village) by Turner Prize winner Rachel Whiteread has found a permanent home at the V&A Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green.

Made up with 150 vintage dolls’ houses collected by the artist over 20 years, and assembled between 2006 and 2008, the installation will go on display from March 25.

It will be exhibited over 56 square metres as a deserted community of unfurnished house ranging in style from Georgian mansions to Modernist fortresses.

“This work connects to my earlier work because these houses have no people in them and there is no furniture. I was interested in the interiors of these houses and also the fact that they had been through many generations of family” saidf the Hackney based artist. “They may have been made by the father. There was a lot of love involved with them and then eventually the love was lost. They were transferred through generations. That transaction is always something that’s been in my work. The things that I’ve worked with have all been used, had a life before.”

Rhian Harris, director of the V&A Museum of Childhood, said the museum was delighted to welcome the piece. “It is also a wonderful example of how the national childhood collections inspire artists. Displaying the work at the V&A Museum of Childhood is particularly poignant because Rachel came here as a child and has lived and worked near the Museum for most of her career.  In a sense it is coming home.’


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