An artisanal toy-maker’s works are highlighted in this museum dedicated to the craft of toys.
Gumersindo España Olivares was an artisan born and based in the town of Juventino Rosas, Guanajuato. Also known as “Don Sshinda,” he was particularly recognized for his wooden toys following traditional Mexican designs and themes.
Museo La Esquina (The Corner), also known as Museo del Juguete Popular Mexicano (The Museum of Mexican Popular Toys), is the project of Angélica Tijerina, an avid toy collector. Opened in 2010, the museum is dedicated not only to collecting and displaying toys, but actively promotes the craft of toy-making.
With the help of the Mexico’s government, La Esquina organizes an annual toy-making contest that welcomes entrants across categories from dolls to musical instruments to wood and metal carvings. Many of Don Sshinda’s pieces currently displayed in the museum were placeholders in previous contests.
After Don Sshinda’s death in 2018, the museum set up a special exhibition space to celebrate his works as a notable Guanajuatense artisan. Many of his toys are on display, as well as a documentary about his life and his work.
Museo La Esquina is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Entrance is MXN $50 for the general public, MXN $35 for children, seniors, students, and teachers. The top floor of the museum has a terrific view of San Miguel de Allende.
Source: Atlas Obscura