National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Noah's Ark and Animals Noah's Ark and Animals
Rendered by Ben Lassen (artist), 1935/1942
watercolor, graphite, and gouache on paperboard
overall: 38 x 35.4 cm (14 15/16 x 13 15/16 in.) Original IAD Object: 10 3/8" long; 3 1/8" wide; 4 3/8" high; animals: 1 3/4" long; 1 3/8" high
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Toys from the Index of American Design
Object 7 of 26

Noah's Ark with its many animals has been a favorite toy of children for generations. This example was probably made by a Pennsylvania German craftsman about 1835. The colorful ark consists of pieces of pine glued together. It has one sliding panel to let the animals go inside. Fifteen animals are whittled from pine and painted in polychrome oil colors. The ark is decorated with a painted and stenciled design in mat polychrome. Noah's Ark was known as "Sunday toy": children were not allowed to play with most toys on Sunday, but Noah's Ark was an exception because of its biblical subject matter.

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