Monday, February 17, 2014

Thorne Miniature Rooms - Exquisite reproductions of dollhouse sized rooms.


For years I've been talking about going to Chicago to visit the miniature rooms in The Art Institute of Chicago. This past weekend my dream became a reality.




You can find out more and see pictures at the Art Institute website here.

They introduce the exhibit this way:
"The 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms enable one to glimpse elements of European interiors from the late 13th century to the 1930s and American furnishings from the 17th century to the 1930s. Painstakingly constructed on a scale of one inch to one foot, these fascinating models were conceived by Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago and constructed between 1932 and 1940 by master craftsmen according to her specifications."

I took all of the pictures in this blog post. I held my camera against the glass of each exhibit in order to avoid reflections, so these shots show only partial rooms. The Art Institute website has full images of the rooms and when you click the small image it blows up to a nice size. There information about the size of each room and the date it was made

The rooms are exquisite. the detail is incredible I wish I had the skill and the patience to attempt making one myself. Maybe I will one day.

These gorgeous rooms are well loved in the Windy City. If you mention to anyone - sales people, those you ask to take your picture, those who give you directions - that you went to the Art Institute, they will say, "Did you see the miniature rooms?"

As I was about to leave the Art Institute I checked out the gift shop. I started to chat with another customer who asked if I had seen the rooms. Then she told me that her mother-in-law was a friend of Mrs. Thorne and that Mrs. Thorne had made her a room. She said that one of her nieces (the mother-in-law's granddaughter) has the room now.

I wasn't too jealous - it was a wonderful story.


I have seen many pictures of these rooms in books and online, but one does not appreciate the skill of the craftsmen and the detail of the rooms until you see them in person.

I would highly recommend visiting these incredible rooms if you ever get to Chicago - that toddlin' town.






10 comments:

  1. Hi! It must be stunning to see these rooms in 3D indeed, but the pictures are also overwhelming! It's art. Wow.

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  2. Gorgeous photos!! Thanks for sharing these. Makes me want to go see them again :)

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  3. The rooms really are exquisite. Such beautiful detail and fine craftsmanship.

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  4. Every time I see pictures of these rooms, I can't believe how incredibly realistic they are. I would love to see them in person one day. Thank you for sharing =0)

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  5. Someday...someday I'll go to Chicago and see the Thorne Rooms (and Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle). *sigh*

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  6. Hello Susan,
    I am so happy you got to see them. I hope to make it there myself one day soon.
    Big hug,
    Giac

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  7. thank you so much for sharing your photos with us I really appreciated seeing the thorn rooms, that is my wish to see them in person :)

    Hugs
    Marisa

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  8. Oh my goodness. Looking at miniatures like this just takes my breath away!

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  9. Great pictures, Susan! I have never been to see them, but I sure hope to someday! Thank you for sharing these pictures... they are very inspiring!

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