Each November, the unveiling of the annual Myer Christmas windows signals the start of the festive season in Melbourne. For generations, families have made the trip into town to gaze at the miniature make-believe worlds behind the glass, in what has for many become a beloved and unmissable tradition.
A new exhibition launching Saturday 17 November at Melbourne Museum, Make Believe: The Story of the Myer Christmas Windows, connects us to this shared memory, revealing the magic and creative artistry behind the windows.
In a definitively Melbourne tradition that is now 62 years old, over one million people line up along Bourke Street Mall each year for a glimpse of the famous Myer Christmas Windows. The windows attract multigenerational visitors, as parents and grandparents reminisce on their childhood experiences of make-believe and continue the tradition with their own families.
Make Believe is a magical, glittering, experience for children and adults alike, inviting lovers of this cherished Melbourne tradition to reconnect with the nostalgia of their childhood, and offering younger visitors the chance to experience it all with fresh eyes. A feast of magical models, working drawings, beloved books and playful puppets.
“It is fitting to celebrate this beloved Melbourne tradition within one of Melbourne’s most cherished cultural destinations,” said Museums Victoria CEO Lynley Marshall. “Make Believe: The Story of the Myer Christmas Windows sees our experts lovingly bring the story behind the windows to life, creating a truly unmissable experience. Melbourne Museum is thrilled to be partnering with Myer this festive season.”
On display will be more than 250 quirky and kitsch characters from windows past, along with sketches, prototypes, props and animatronics. Miniature Wes Anderson-esque worlds of wit, wonder and whimsy based on children’s storybooks, unveiling the astonishing skill and artistry of the makers and creators. Together they tell the rich heritage of the Myer Christmas Windows.
“For the past 62 years, the Myer Christmas Windows have played a significant part in the traditional Christmas celebrations for generations of families every year,” said Myer CEO John King. “We are delighted to be partnering with Melbourne Museum to celebrate the incredible history, magic and innovation of the Myer Christmas Windows.
“Christmas is a special time of year and we know our valued Myer customers and Melbourne Museum visitors are going to enjoy re-living the wonder and magic of the iconic window displays.”
Melbourne Museum is inviting the public to participate in this celebration of make-believe and contribute their own stories and memories of the Myer Christmas Windows. Everyone experiences the windows in their own way, many families travel from the country, some only come at night, others make it part of the annual trek to see Santa.
Melbourne Museum is asking “what’s your tradition?” and seeking memories, stories and photos of the magical Christmas windows. More information can be found here.
Make Believe: The Story of the Myer Christmas Windows celebrates a beloved tradition presented in glittering splendour by one of Melbourne’s most cherished cultural destinations to create a truly unmissable experience this festive season.
Make Believe: The Story of the Myer Christmas Windows
Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton
Exhibition opens 17 November 2018
Free entry (after museum entry)
For more information, visit: www.museumsvictoria.com.au
Image: Make Believe: The Story of the Myer Christmas Windows (supplied)