About This Artwork

Mrs. James Ward Thorne
American, 1882-1966

E-10: English Dining Room of the Georgian Period, 1770-90, c. 1937

Miniature room, mixed media
Interior: 20 x 35 1/4 x 25 5/8 in.
(50.8 x 89.5 x 65.1 cm)
Scale: 1 inch = 1 foot

Gift of Mrs. James Ward Thorne, 1941.1195

The sixty-eight fascinating Thorne Miniature Rooms feature highlights from the history of interior design and decorative arts from the thirteenth century to 1940. These enchanting miniature stage sets were conceived by Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago and constructed between 1937 and 1940 by master craftsmen according to her exacting specifications, on a scale of one inch to one foot. The harmonious elegance seen here is based on two dining rooms designed by Robert Adam, the successful eighteenth-century London architect whose precise and delicate interpretation of the antique (stimulated by then-recent excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii) dictated English taste for a quarter of a century. To insure perfect conformity, Adam undertook the entire design of a house and every detail of its interior, hiring cabinetmakers to execute furniture that blended Neoclassical elements with current English forms. Instead of using wood and wallpaper, Adam carved low-relief ornament in plaster against painted panels in the style of Roman stuccos, as seen in this dining room. His furniture was often gilded in the continental fashion, as is the side table in this room. The landscape over the side table, painted by one of the many artists that Mrs. Thorne commissioned for the project, is in the style of Claude Lorrain.

— Entry, Essential Guide, 2013, p. 190.

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