Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Joys and Holiday Toys

I have often enjoyed and admired department store windows, especially during the holidays and thought that it would be enjoyable to create something fun and festive to share with passers by. This holiday I got my chance to compete with the likes of the Macy's, Sax and Neiman Marcus holiday window designers. Quent came up with the brilliant idea and it was my job to execute it.

Our story dates all the way back to 1952 when the Napa Toy Shop occupied the building that is now home to Quent Cordair Fine Art. For nearly 40 years, the Napa Toy Shop was a favorite desitnation for the local children, who according to toy shop owner Joyce Brown, would bring in their allowances to purchase their favorite toys. Each year, Napa parents purchased many items from Christmas wish lists that would later be found nestled under the family Christmas tree wrapped in the familiar Napa Toy Shop red and white striped wrapping paper.

Back in April of this year when we signed the new gallery lease and learned of the building's history, Quent suggested that we create a tribute to the Toy Shop as part of our holiday window display. In November we solicited Napans via word of mouth and the local newspaper to bring us toys that were purchased at the Napa Toy Shop to display in our holiday window. Much to our delight, the phone began to ring and the toys began to arrive from all over the Napa Valley. Mrs. Brown brought in some of the now famous wrapping paper and with some help from my assistants, Shawn and Kristen, we began to assemble our tribute to Christmases past. Toys dating from the early 50's through the early 90's were catalogued and taged with the owner's name and carefully displayed amongst the red and white striped boxes. The walls are decorated with Bryan Larsen's "There's Opportunity Here" and "Young Builder" prints and "Holiday" by Jerry Rough. Nestled amongst the toys is Karl Jensen's "Man of the Future" and Danielle Anjou's "Arielle" which has been adorned with a garland tiara.

Young and old can be seen enjoying the display. Some sharing memories of Christmas mornings past and some younger admirers making amusing inquiries like "where is the remote control" and "what, no batteries?" We have received a plethora of positive comments and thanks for our efforts. Only one little boy about four years old was very disppointed when upon entering the gallery he discovered that it was not a toy store after all.

If you'll be in our neighborhood before the new year, stop by and enjoy a trip down memory lane outside and then come inside for an uplifting treat of Romantic Realism. The toys will warm your heart and the beautiful art will surely fuel your spirit.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours! We wish you all the best in health and wealth for the coming year and beyond and as always, we look forward to earning your business.


Ruthie B said...

Your windows are absolutely beautiful and so heartwarming. Wish I were there to enjoy in person, but since I can't be, thanks for sharing.

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Martin Lindeskog said...

Have a commercial X-mas & Prosperous New Year!

Anonymous said...


A delightful idea beautifully executed.

Robert Tracy