MTM Charts Course for the Future30-Jun-2016
For over FIFTEEN years, the Marx Toy Museum has stood in tribute to one of the PREMIER TOY MANUFACTURERS of the 20th century – a vibrant memorial to the life’s work of Louis and David Marx.
While interest in the colorful, and iconic Marx toy brand remains very high, and the museum receives daily visitors from all over the country, the unfortunate reality is that guest admissions and annual memberships have not achieved the levels necessary to provide sustainable operations at the current facility.
After years of dedicated service to the local community, and vintage toy collecting aficionados everywhere, the Marx Toy Museum’s physical location, in Moundsville, West Virginia, will close its doors permanently, on June 30th, 2016.
However, the federally-recognized non-profit 501(c)3 Marx Toy Museum organization, with its board of directors, will continue to guide the Mission originally set forth. The museum will remain dedicated to preserving the history and cultural significance of the Louis Marx toy company, and the iconic toys it produced, as well as, the passion and genius of company founders, Louis & David Marx; and the dedicated creative input of the men and women who spent their working days bringing the toys to life.
As a board, we have gathered multiple times, brainstormed many ideas, and pursued new sources of revenue, although unsuccessfully – ultimately deciding the next BEST STEP for the organization. We have worked to set some REALISTIC, ACHIEVABLE GOALS that the board believes will allow for the continued mission of serving as a monument to the history of Marx toys.
In order to pursue a broader audience, primarily via the Internet, and social media, the board of directors has voted to redirect all future funding and developmental efforts toward expansion and enhancement of the museum’s web site, and in seeking opportunities for featured traveling displays on Marx toys, exhibited throughout the country.
Limited Operation of the Brick-and-Mortar Marx Toy Museum
The Marx Toy Museum will open on April 1st and will continue normal hours through June 30th, 2016. For those who have been here many times, and for those who have never visited, we offer this final opportunity to take a farewell “Brick and Mortar” tour of the physical museum.
In addition, the Marx Toy Museum will hold THREE major events in April, May, and June:
In mid-April, the museum will host a FREE Community Day for people in the community to visit the museum before it closes. The event will feature a “History of Marx” program and toy demonstration of Marx playthings at the start of every hour.
Marx Employee Day
In May, the museum will host a Marx Employee Day to recognize the men and women who dedicated their working lives to brightening the childhood of millions. The museum invites all former Marx employees, their families, and guests to participate in this FREE event.
Celebration of Marx Event & MTM Members’ Day
In June, the museum will conduct its annual ‘Celebration of Marx Toys,’ in conjunction with the National Marx Convention, held in nearby Wheeling, WV. The museum will host a members-only evening hours for those individuals who financially support the Marx Toy Museum annually. As a feature of the event, museum curator, Francis Turner, will be on hand to provide a look at rare company artifacts, one-of-a-kind documents and photos, and a general sharing of collector fellowship…
While the museum building closure might understandably disappoint some, we encourage you to share our EXCITEMENT as we look forward to new opportunities for the Marx Toy Museum organization to expand its reach, and continue its mission.
Transition to a Virtual Marx Toy Museum
A virtual Marx Toy Museum website will fulfill the mission of preserving the history of Marx, and provide an opportunity to reach visitors across the globe. In the future, with adequate additional funding, the current website will be redeveloped from its current 30-pages to a 100+ page comprehensive site with supportive imagery, including supplemental audio, and video assets. The MTM will also look to collectors as editorial content creators to tell the history of Louis Marx & Co, the iconic toys, and the factory workers.
Traveling Displays at National Museums
As many are aware, the Marx Toy Museum exhibits are primarily the collection of just one hobbyist – Francis Turner – who has been collecting Marx toys for nearly 30 years. The Turner family is interested in establishing a 100-piece Marx toy collection that best illustrates the company’s sixty-year history and the iconic legacy. The MTM organization will coordinate, and make that core collection available as a transient gallery exhibit at other museums throughout the country, including toy museums, American history museums, and national venues, such as the Smithsonian.
Appreciation to the Supporters of the Museum
The Marx Toy Museum will always owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Louis Marx, Jr. and Dan Lufkin, who spearheaded the effort to convert the museum operation to its current non-profit tax status, and who provided major capital contributions for the past several years. We couldn’t have gotten this far without their extraordinary support and encouragement! The board of directors also sincerely appreciates the consistent support of the museum’s annual members, and the major donors of the Louis Marx Society. Your ongoing contributions have demonstrated real commitment to the MTM mission, and has enabled the museum the share the ‘Magic of Marx’ with a new generation!
We hope, as we proceed to make changes, that we can rely on your continued membership in the Marx Toy Museum organization. Your support now will make our near-term goals achievable, and your continued commitment will allow the mission to be achieved well into the future. Your membership will make the difference!
For a guided tour of the collection: normal hours at the Marx Toy Museum are from 11 am until 5 pm – Tuesday through Saturday – beginning Friday, April 1, 2016 and will continue until the final closing date of June 30th, 2016.
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