A few famous miniatures...

Here are some of the famous miniatures that we would like to share. If you have flash player installed on your computer, you'll be able to take a You Tube Video Tour of some of the exhibits. Those videos are shown on the left and just click to view. Suggestion - stop one video before starting another.

Thorne Rooms

Narcissa Niblack Thorne (Mrs. James Ward Thorne) and the craftsmen that she worked with created nearly 100 rooms. These rooms were made at a scale of 1:12 (one inch in the room equals one foot in real life) in the 1930s and 1940s. Many of the rooms are exact replicas of existing houses in the United States and Europe. The remaining rooms faithfully depict the architecture and interior design of their periods and countries.. The Art Institute of Chicago owns 68 rooms, Phoenix Art Museum owns 20, Knoxville Museum of Art has 9. There are a few others around located around the country.

Video shows the Chicago Thorne Rooms

Colleen Moore Dollhouse

By 1935 Silent film star Colleen Moore enlisted the help of more than 700 talented professionals to help her create her dream doll house, a fantasy castle. Its price tag was nearly half a million dollars for this 8'7" x 8'2" x 7'7" foot structure containing 2,000 miniatures. The rooms are modular units that can be packed into the drawers of specially designed shipping crates. The Fairy Castle is housed at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL.

The Miniature White House

The Zweifel family miniaturized the White House. They have spent years researching and exhibiting the structure. This large (55 ft long and 20 ft wide) has been exhibited in several of our former president's libraries. Several of the Presidential libraries have additional information and pictures. Here's information from the Ford Library tour.

The video is from the Ford Library Tour

Kitchen crime scene, Nutshell Collection, 1940s-1950s

The Nutshell Series

In the 1940s, Frances Glessner Lee built a series of miniature roomboxes to teach inexperienced police officers about different types of death scenes, and to encourage them to use careful observation to spot "indirect" evidence for crime reconstruction. Did a corpse mean murder, suicide, death by natural cause, or accident? If only the setting could be seen properly, the truth, “in a nutshell,” would be exposed. Donated to Harvard in 1945 for use in her seminars, the dioramas went in 1966, when the department of legal medicine was dissolved, to the Maryland Medical Examiner’s Office; they are still used for forensic seminars.

Golden Gate Bridge

Amazing Models

There are many wonderful miniature models of bridges. This is a model of The Golden Gate Bridge which was made from only one toothpick.