Standing in the middle of a small, cramped room with over 700 frog sculptures, Amy Adler sees the world a little differently than most.
“In general, there are probably two types of people: those who really enjoy saving things, and those who want to live a more serene, organized life.”
You can probably guess what kind of person Adler considers herself to be. Fifteen years ago, she opened the Frogtown Froggy Museum.
Kermitted to Toledo
Before becoming the proprietress of one of Toledo’s quirkier museums, Adler worked as a children’s librarian. When she retired, she found herself with an abundance of frog-centric, kid-friendly props she had used during programs and story times. Instead of getting rid of them, Adler pursued a longtime dream of opening a museum.
“Frogs are perfect for Toledo because of the region’s history as a swamp and our city’s nickname, ‘Frogtown,’” she explained. “So, I thought we needed a frog museum.”
The timing was right. The Arts Commission had begun commissioning artists to paint the public frog statues that appear throughout Toledo and she was retired— and owned a large collection of novelty frogs. “There’s a few bunnies… they must have hopped in,” Adler joked.
Singing frogs appear frequently throughout her collection. “A prince in disguise is a popular Valentine’s Day gift,” Adler explained before pointing out a cowboy frog that belted out “Save a horse… ride a cowboy.” “Pretty risqué.”
The museum first opened in downtown Toledo on Water St., but moved to the Old West End one year ago. Over the years, her collection has grown with donations from the public. Throughout the two-room space, Adler cheerily points out these small collections— such as a bookshelf full of miniature, ceramic frogs— and tells you the story of how each arrived.
“A woman came up from Georgia and gave me her mother’s collection,” Adler said, pointing to frog-inspired wind chimes and a tall frog butler with a silver tray.
Out of town visitors and donations aren’t unusual. Alder says that a good handful of visitors are not Toledoans— either people who are in town for the weekend or curious enough about the oddity that museum serves as a roadside attraction.
Adler’s passion isn’t just for frogs, but for collecting.
“There’s a fine line between a collector and someone who goes overboard,” Adler admitted. “I’ve always liked collecting. I suppose it’s inherent to me. I love the variety of things.” Despite the frog collection, it would be disingenuous to pin Adler as a hoarder. Her love for collecting doesn’t even touch her love for sharing.
“It’s wonderful to share this with people, and kids love the frogs,” she said. “I don’t have a lot for sale— most of this is second-hand and there are plenty of flaws— but I always tell people that if they see anything they really want, we can talk.”
10am-3pm, Saturday. 1-5pm, Sunday.
Available by appointment.
2443 Collingwood Blvd., in the blue building next to the Collingwood Arts Center.