I recently was scouring museum websites to find upcoming exhibits that would interest woodworkers (to include in our online events list) and I stumbled upon the Thorne Rooms at the Knoxville Museum of Art. These are miniature rooms, built in a scale of 1 inch = 1 foot, and furnished with amazing miniature furniture and accessories.
Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago loved dollhouses as a child and after traveling in Europe in the early 1900s, collecting miniatures, she had these rooms created to her specifications. Over time she had over 50 rooms made. Many of the rooms are exact replicas of existing houses in Europe and the US. The others represent architecture and designs of specific periods.
These rooms are amazing to me! At first look, they appear to be full size rooms filled with some beautiful furniture and decorations. Then to realize they are miniatures is something else.
Not only are there Thorne Rooms in Knoxville, I also found them at the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Phoenix Art Museum. If you are in those areas, I think it might be worth a visit to the museums to check out the Thorne Rooms. Have any of you seen the rooms in person?
Tennessee entrance hall 1835
English great room 1550-1603
English reception room 1625-1655
Massachusetts drawing room 1768
Shaker living room 1800