Frank and Theresa Caplan

In 1985, Frank and Theresa Caplan, owners of the toy company Creative Playthings, gave The Children’s Museum their collection of over 50,000 toys collected over a period of 20 years from all over the world, establishing the Caplan Collection of Folk, Fantasy, & Play at the museum. The museum created an exhibit for the collection, Passport to the World, which opened in 1986 and closed in 2008 to permit the creation of Take Me There, a new world-cultures gallery. Today, artifacts from the Caplan Collection are displayed in the Take Me There gallery and in other exhibits and programs throughout the museum.

The Caplans also donated $1 million to the museum to create an endowment to support the gallery in which Passport to the World, and now Take Me There, is housed. In addition, the Caplans generously donated amounts in 1990 and 1991 that enabled the production of Folk, Fantasy & Play: Selections from the Caplan Collection of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and other purposes supporting the care and conservation of the Caplan Collection.

Frank Caplan was born in England in 1911 and passed away in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1988. Theresa, born in 1913, survived her husband for 22 years; she died in 2010.

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Frank and Therea Caplan, about 1985.
This child’s circus from Oaxaca, Mexico is one of the many beautiful artifacts of the Caplan Collection. 85.1.1599.1-.21 Circus tent, vans, animals and performers David Villafanez Oaxaca, Mexico 1920-1950
An example of a toy from the Caplan’s line, Creative Playthings. 85.1.31820.1-.7 Four-way blocks Creative Playthings USA 1972
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