Skip to main content

Toy Collection

To make this work, Mike Kelley went to thrift stores and scooped up handmade toys and blankets that other people had once played with, but had given away. By giving this work the title More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid, Kelley was interested in the huge amount of time it took people to make all of these toys or blankets by hand. He said: “if you saw these things as representing love, then it was a massive amount of love,” and maybe too much to ever give back! 

Collect a lot of your favorite toys in one place. Your collection could be soft toys, plastic toys, or wooden toys, large or small, similar, or different kinds of toys. Arrange them on a rug or a piece of fabric on the floor. Think about colors, textures, and patterns as you arrange your toys. When you are happy with your composition, take a photograph. What choices did you make? What do you notice about your composition?

See all Whitney Kids Art Challenges.

Mike Kelley, More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid and The Wages of Sin, 1987. Stuffed fabric toys and afghans on canvas with dried corn; wax candles on wood and metal base, overall: 120 3/4 × 151 3/4 × 31 3/4in. (306.7 × 385.4 × 80.6 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee 89.13a-d. © The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York



A 30-second online art project:
Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Sky/World Death/World

Learn more

Learn more at