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The Strong National Museum of Play  

The Strong National Museum of Play (known as just The Strong Museum or simply the Strong) is part of The Strong in Rochester, New York, United States. Established in 1969 and based initially on the personal collection of Rochester native Margaret Woodbury Strong, the Museum opened to the public in 1982, after several years of planning, cataloging, and exhibition development for the Museum’s new building in downtown Rochester, NY. For at least fifteen years after its opening, the Museum’s mission was to interpret average Americans’ social and cultural history between 1830 and 1940, under the direction of H.J. Swinney and William T. Alderson. Mrs. Strong’s collections of dolls and toys, American and European decorative arts, prints, paintings, Japanese crafts, and advertising ephemera provided a firm foundation for this mission. They were supplemented with collections purchased and donated to support the Museum’s early mission fully. The Museum received considerable local and national publicity and support and substantial financial support from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Exhibitions and Public Programs division.

In the 1990s, the Museum’s Board of Trustees and Director changed the Museum’s mission to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of play. Since then, it has refined and increased its collections (hundreds of thousands of items) and expanded twice in 1997 and 2006.

The Museum is now one of five Play Partners of The Strong, also home to the National Toy Hall of Fame, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, and the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, and produces the American Journal of Play.

Known originally as the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum and later simply as the Strong Museum, it became the Strong National Museum of Play in 2006 after completing renovations and an expansion that nearly doubled its size to 282,000 square feet (26,200 m2). EZ Rochester Junk Removal

The National Museum of Play is the only collections-based museum anywhere devoted solely to the study of play. Although it is a history museum, it has the interactive characteristics of a children’s museum, making it the second-largest museum in the United States. The museum includes exhibits that interpret the critical elements of play and allow guests to explore the worlds of Sesame Street, The Berenstain Bears, Reading Adventureland, and the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden.

The museum’s exhibits are immersively themed for video games, storybooks, television shows, education, nature, history, comic books, carousel and train rides, and children’s lifestyles. Game revolution is the US’s first permanent video game exhibit and includes the World Video Game Hall of Fame. The National Toy Hall of Fame is at the museum. Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden features thousands of butterflies and is the largest indoor butterfly garden in New York. The Berenstain Bears: Down a Sunny Dirt Road is an original, permanent exhibit produced in partnership with the Berenstain family.

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