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The Thorne Miniature Rooms

April 18, 2011 6 Comments by Regina

Here’s how things work at Casa Fauxology. I’ll go on an outing, take a few hundred pics, get giddy with excitement for the blog post (“The Readers will loooove this!”), upload the images onto a folder and then…I forget all about them.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come across images that I’ve totally forgotten about that would make a fantastic post. You’d think I’d run out of things to chat about but no, I could write 2 – 3 posts a day if I had the time.  That’s how much good stuff there is out there.  Going through the folders is how I came upon today’s post.

The Thorne Miniature Rooms are of an exhibit in the Art Institute of Chicago. They have miniature room settings built into the walls and encased in glass — 68 in total — and each has something unique.  From ornate plaster to murals to handpainted wallcoverings to extraordinary ceilings.  They are incredible.  You can stroll through the exhibit and view each of them at eye-level. It’s an ode to the Decorative Arts.

Thorne Miniature Rooms

Sorry it's so fuzzy but I did want you to see how the miniature interiors are showcased.

Here are some of the room pics I took…

Thorne Miniature RoomsClose-ups below

Thorne Miniature Rooms Thorne Miniature Rooms

Thorne Miniature Rooms

Love the ornate door and stencil design around the doorway.

Thorne Miniature Rooms

A little gold leafing never hurt anyone...

They were artfully constructed at the behest of Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago.  Some feature historically correct copies of the interiors of castles, historic homes and museums, from the 13th century all the way until the 1930′s. Here are a few images from the museum itself.

Thorne Miniature Rooms

Thorne Miniature Rooms

If you cannot stop by the Institute itself and you’d like to see all of the museum’s rooms in detail and with related information, click here for a stroll.  I hope you do – some incredible rooms are not even pictured here on the post.  Have a great day!

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  1. Katie
    1341 days ago

    WOW! Astonishing detail in such tiny little rooms. Imagine a doll house like this! I wouldn’t have known they were miniature rooms…Amazing!

  2. quintessence
    1341 days ago

    These are incredible. I am sending this to my sister who just adores miniatures and dollhouses!!

  3. Regina
    1341 days ago

    They are truly amazing in person – try to catch them if you are in Chicago. @Quintessence – your sister might like this link as well: Thanks for the beautiful comments!

  4. steve shriver
    1340 days ago

    these are incredible!

  5. Lynne Rutter
    1340 days ago

    these are so cool! Regina have you ever heard of the miniature rooms by Frances Glessner Lee called “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death”.
    ok so they have little miniature dead people in them but they were used to investigate crimes AND they are beautiful made. anyway, now i am looking at the dog in that jacobean room and thinking ‘oh my what happened here?’

  6. sharon leichsenring
    1340 days ago

    OMG, Regina. I remember your first post on these, and I was hooked. The grottesca is incredible, and mind-boggling when you consider how tiny it is. Thank you, again.

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