Monday, February 04, 2013

Musee du Jouets - Andre Helle

Samedi 2 Fevrier Musee du Jouets de Poissy

You don't expect to fall in love at 5 in the morning online but sometimes strange things happen. I was browsing cookbook author Rachel Khoo’s newsletter & a French illustrator she likes caught my eye and my ❤️ . A special exhibition of his work was at the Musee du Jouets in Poissy outside Paris and I had to go no questions asked.
Bear, who's been very quiet this trip, gave a great whoop of joie at the chance to meet his French ancestor bears

But it was on to the newly discovered objet of my obsession: illustrator André Hellé (1871-1945).

Hellé not only created masses of illustrated books and journals but charming wooden toys to match. His line of toys and books was much sought after and particularly made for the grand magazine Printemps.

There's a modernistic feel to Helle's art.. 

Simple, graphic, brilliantly colored plus an inherent wit.

Though his work is quite sophisticated it's still wonderfully childlike and playful.

I wish I could show you more.

A child's bedroom at that time could be all-Helle including wallpaper, furnishings, books and toys!

With accompanying music playing by Debussy from the ballet, 'La Boite a Joujou'.  

Helle designed costumes and sets in collaboration with him for his little girl, Emma-Claude, nicknamed Chouchou

If you're visiting to Paris, love toys the musee du Jouets is a mere 20 minutes ride on the RER A5 (last stop) and a short walk from the station to
1, Enclos de l'Abbaye Poissy
Open everyday except Monday
9:30-12 and 2 - 5:30
It's a mini adventure well worth making IMHO.
The Andre Helle exhibit is on till 9 juin. 


  1. Anonymous2:15 AM

    Mini ADORABLE!!
    Merci mille!!

  2. tres charmante commme as always
    Would love to visit here!

    1. It'The Musee du Jouets is a hidden tresure in a little back-water town.
      I'm sure there are many more to discover in France and so much fun!
      Tanks Carolg

  3. Looks like it was well worth the early rise to get this one in & I'm glad Bear was able to get to see some of his fellow compatriots... Love the last photo.

    1. good ole Bear..
      Thanks for thinking of him.
      He was in his element at the toy museum - so many BEARS and many old loved ones. Not all sparkling and new.

  4. You find the most amazing places- I always enjoy your passion and descriptions.

  5. I see a lot of Helle in your work, especially when you use line...but even your watercolors are sophisticated yet fun. Come to think of it, that also describes your blog!

  6. I bet Bear was fou de joie:)

  7. I ADORE this... you know I met Rachel just before she became famous... she looked and smelled like FAME... she's charming!

    I hope you're going to take all your daily sketches and male them into 1 big book for us to buy! Yes?? Thank you!!!


    1. Tina, I second that! It is a great idea. Carol?

  8. Helle's work is charming! The epitome of French childhood chic. I prefer this to anime.

  9. Love the whimsical art.
    Your last photo is precious!

  10. Very fun. I love the simplicity yet very sophisticated design of his toys. I want to pick one up and play.

    This would make charming Christmas villages during the winter as well!

    Hope you stop by for my giveaway at my blog. The winner is determined by those who help me plan my trip to Paris in September. Would appreciate it!


  11. Right! You've helped me pick the next venue next weekend, Carol. It's on our doorstep and the shame of it is I've never gone yet with my girls. Merci xo

  12. Thank you for introducing me to Andre Helle. Superb. Love that last shot. Timeless.

  13. Love the array of little candies on your journal drawing!

  14. I hope you kept your eye on Bear while there..Someone might have thought he belonged there. :) Love the illustrations..What a wonderful Artist. I especially loved that round box he drew with toys coming out of it. thanks for sharing another wonderful post.

  15. Great opening sketch & good to see Bear again.
    I love illustrated childrens' books and I especially like the frame where you state that Helle had an inherent wit in his works. It is very cute!

  16. Super cette petite histoire!
    Tu es si drole!
    et ton nounours aussi!

  17. Wow--love that illustrator, and you, of course! How'd I miss all these posts? oy vey


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