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
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.
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
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
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.