Home|Entertainment Hall (Hall 17)

Entertainment Hall (Hall 17)

The hall known as the Entertainment Hall is the last room in the Collector's Cabinet. The collections on view here are all related to leisure and pastimes from 19th early 20th century Barcelona society.

In the 19th century, it became evident that leisure activities were becoming accessible to the lower middle class, to tradesmen and the working class. A good example is provided by the appearance of recreation and humor societies-among which, the one called Lo Niu Guerrer stands out. The museum has preserved its banner (which can be seen in the stairway that leads to the gallery) as well as several posters and brochures with cultural and leisure activities. Some of these are related to Carnaval, the festival held just before Lent, and others recall exhibits of parody paintings, literary competitions, and much more.

Another pastime conquered by the middle classes was the theatre. The popularity of these shows is evidenced in the display of programs for musical dramas and operas; photographs; and other documents belonging to actors, draftsmen, set designers and writers. Special mention must be made of Frederic Soler (also known as Serafí Pitarra), the most successful writer of the day. All these documents round out the special tribute made by Marès to the Catalan theatre.

This gallery also features games for both children and adults, including the popular Game of the Goose, the lottery, paper theatres and other cut-outs, and a group of religious prints which are called auques in Catalan.

In the 19th century, scientific and technical discoveries reached the public at large. Notice the exhibit of optical toys which were forerunners to the cinema-the magic lantern (the first slide projector), the polyorama panopticon (with its daytime and nighttime effects), and the zoetrope. This last piece consists of a circular drum with several openings. When it is spun, and looked at through a viewfinder, the images on the interior appear to move.

Another pastime relates to programmed musical instruments like the first music boxes, barrel organs with cranks and the modern gramophone.

There is also room here for collections of more traditional toys-dolls, automatons, and dollhouse accessories-all present here in this dreamlike loft.