Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The Konkle's Christmas Windows

"To peek in one of their windows, you'd think that here was a home where fairy tales come true." (Toronto Telegram, December 9, 1961)

Eaton's hired Ted and Eleanor Konkle as freelancers to design the Christmas window displays in their Toronto store from 1953 to 1963.  Ted, a graduate of the Toronto School of Art, worked on sculptures for the displays.  Eleanor, a graduate of the Toronto School of Architecture, worked on costumes for the displays. 

Much of the work for the displays was performed at their home, where their two young children could be see the process.  Each Christmas display took about four months to plan and prepare.  Ted and Eleanor would do the research, make the items for the displays, and assemble them in the window. 

Each December, Torontonians would make the pilgrimage to see the fruits of their labour:  the results were nothing short of magical.  Here are some of the exhibits that the Konkle's created:

  • Santa's Toyland (1953)
  • Post Office (1955)
  • Town Square (1958)
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas (1959)
  • Renaissance Creche (1961)
  • Fantasia Animal Ballet (1962)
  • Home for the Holidays (1963)

Home for the Holidays (1961) courtesy

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