From the Desk of Ms. Lit Town

What's in a Name?

What's in a Name?

Over the years we have been asked this question quite a lot? Department 56 is an unusual name for a company, How did you come up with the name for products we have grown to know and love over the years? Where does the name come from? Let’s take a look at the history of our company and how the name came to be. Back in the early 1970s a talented floral designer named Ed Bazinet worked for a Minnesota...
on May 06, 2021
Remembering Lynn Maderich

Remembering Lynn Maderich

  It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Lynn Maderich. Lynn was part of the Department 56 family and has designed a great number of our Village figurines for over 20 years. Lynn was also a gifted painter in the fine arts and won several awards including many for her favorite subject, horses. She was a perennial winner of Blue Ribbons at our Minnesota State Fair - I think every time I met with her she...
on August 25, 2020
Virtual Showroom Tour

Virtual Village Showroom Tour

Sit back and take a virtual tour of our Village showroom at the Department 56 offices in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. You'll see the latest in the Original Snow Village, Dickens' Village Series, North Pole Series, and more. Look for some inspiration the next time you decide to setup a Village display at your home.
on August 20, 2020
History of Village Animation

The History of Village Animation

The very first “moving” or animated accessory introduced by Department 56 was the “Animated Skating Pond” back in 1994. It quickly became the centerpiece of many Village displays, and it didn’t matter which Village you collected because the skaters were children who can be universally found enjoying a spin on the ice. The artist who designed the skaters was conscious that this set might be used in multiple Villages so he made sure that they would cross over. They work...
on July 31, 2020
Scott Enter Celebrates 30 Years

VIllage Artist Scott Enter Celebrates 30 Years

Scott Enter, Village Artist The year was 1990, and Department 56 was looking for someone to do product photography of new items for brochures. A young graphic artist with a passion for both art and photography applied and got the position. He enjoyed the photography but as time went on he also enjoyed watching the designs of the little lighted houses that were exploding onto the giftware scene. Fortunately, the Creative Director saws something in the young artist and asked...
on July 01, 2020
An Update on Mid-Year Introductions

An Update on Mid-Year Introductions

You've been asking..."when will the mid-year introductions be announced?" Trust us, we're just as excited as you to show them off! We're targeting the end of June to officially announce the mid-year introductions. Why the delay? Simply put, we want to be sure our valued retailers across the country are ready. Many of them are temporarily closed or operating at a limited capacity. In the meantime, stay tuned for more updates from your friends at Department 56. In the meantime,...
on April 23, 2020