The Toy Theatre is a mural created by artist Peter Waddell with the assistance of fellow artists Eric Ricks, Trevor McDonald, Cedric Thomas, Liseli Drum, Dominic Green, Siggy Noram, Anne Cherubim, and Ivana Zambrana.
It was created on a wall at 1914 Sunderland Place NW at New Hampshire, a block south of Dupont Circle.
A huge painting of a giant toy theatre slowly appeared on the wall over the course of a few months. Beneath the monumental proscenium arch, 40′ high, the stage is set with scenery representing the first two great mansions of Dupont Circle. The British Legation on Connecticut Avenue and “Stewarts Castle” on the Circle arose from the area’s rough farmland in the 1870s.
These grand houses marked the beginning of Dupont Circle as a fashionable neighbourhood for the rich.
This somewhat surprising addition to the distinguished architecture of The Dupont Circle Historic District is the creation of artist Peter Waddell. Best known for his beautiful recreations of Washington architecture and history this vast work is a dramatic contrast with his minutely detailed paintings of nineteenth century White House interiors now on view at the White House Visitor Center (through December 2011).
Inserting such a large work into a Historic District, fiercely protected by the residents, is “no small thing” says the artist. Funded by The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities there was a great deal of consultation with local civic groups and the ANC before work could begin. “I was terribly aware that my work faces one of the most extraordinary buildings in DC, the Heurich Mansion; I wanted my work to be worthy of such a prominent position.”
The public is welcome to go by and view the completed work.