COLLECTIONS > Exhibits > The Baldwin Christmas Collection

December 1 - December 24, 2022
The Baldwin Christmas Collection: The Folklore of Santa Claus Through the Ages will be on view in the Whitman Tavern. The exhibition features vintage holiday shopping bags, postcards, and other memorabilia from the collection of Joyce and Jim Baldwin. The collection, anchored by holiday ephemera and tree trims from the late 1800s and early 1900s, expanded over time to include 20th-century items and contemporary holiday graphics. Come see the exhibition and consider how these designs contributed to the graphic arts!

About the Baldwin Christmas Collection

In the late 1970s, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, hosted a display of 125 shopping bags, eleven of which featured bags with a Christmas theme. This month, visitors to Stanley-Whitman House have an opportunity to view thirty-three vintage holiday shopping bags and consider their contribution to the graphic arts.

An interest in graphic design led Joyce Baldwin to appreciate the history of shopping bags and the evolution of design motifs featured on them. This 2022 Stanley-Whitman House exhibit includes bags from major department stores in the United States, most notably Bloomingdale's flagship store in New York City. Also included in the installation are holiday postcards from the early 1900s and a collage of tinsel trims.

Joyce and Jim Baldwin have shared their interest in Christmas memorabilia with many community groups, including libraries and local museums in Connecticut and New York.