Barbara Lund began her Department 56 career working with her father, Neilan Lund who originally brought the idea of Dickens’ Village to Department 56 in the mid -1980s and has designed Village pieces for Dickens' Village, New England Village, and the North Pole for the last 29 years.
When the Villages became increasingly more popular Neilan needed someone who could assist him doing research on the history and architecture of each piece. Barbara also spent time learning the precise art of designing the houses. When Neilan retired, she stepped in to take the reins and now is well versed in creating the buildings doing extensive research to make the pieces extremely authentic. “Our options in design are almost limitless so long as the factories have the technologies to create what we have asked for. Now having said that, we do push the envelope a bit each year. As the Department 56 team is fond of saying, ‘these little houses are not widgets.’ Sometimes we ask factories to solve challenges, and once they find the solution, we have something new to offer our collectors.”
Barbara had several favorites for 2018 including a spectacular addition to the “Twelfth Night” subseries, “The Nine Ladies Dance Conservatory” with a 2nd floor balcony of several of the conservatory’s best students dancing to the imaginary sounds of the violinist standing in the center. This animated piece is truly on pointe! As with many of the figures in period costumes, the dancers were drawn by accessory designer, Lynn Maderich who does extensive research on the authenticity of the styles of the ladies’ gowns and colors used for the time period. Another of Barbara’s favorites is the “Christmas Carol Cemetery” for “A Christmas Carol”, a part of Dickens’ Village. This is a piece that collectors have longed for. It features a glowing specter of Marley appearing to Scrooge in the eerie graveyard.
One of Barbara’s favorite parts of designing buildings for Department 56 is “meeting the many people who took long, and sometimes very long trips to meet me. This would be true for all the artists and I bet we all find it pretty humbling. I know, I do.”