Growing up, my little sister and I were obsessed with our dolls house! We were intoxicated by the idea of miniature perfection, miniature everything, from candlesticks to plates of fancy biscuits, to dressing tables to flower pots.... We'd spend hours decorating our enchanted house, papering the walls, laying little "Persian" rugs and hanging pictures. My father even made an extremely rare foray into DIY and electrically wired the house so that when you flicked the tiny light-switches the rooms would sparkle with tiny lights.
While in the New York City Museum to see the Cecil Beaton exhibition, a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon the Stettheimer Dollhouse and fell in love again.
The Stettheimer sisters- Carrie, Florine and Ettie grew up in New York in a family that moved within an exciting circle of artists, writers and critics. Carrie started the dollhouse in 1916, lovingly decorating it, and even "commissioning" miniature works of art from distinguished family friends: Marcel Duchmp for instance made a tiny copy of his Nude Descending a Staircase for the house. Ridiculous and wonderful!