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Seeing Double

For such tiny rooms, the Thorne Miniature Rooms are one of the museum’s biggest attractions. And in addition to the eight specially bedecked holiday rooms and the new Thorne Room game, we’re pleased to announce the (temporary) installation of the Marshall Field V Americana Room. Generously on loan from Jamee and Marshall Field V, the room offers a peek into the Field’s impressive collection of American decorative arts. The room was a gift from Jamee to Marshall and was meant to document in miniature the decorative art they had collected and gifted to museums. In fact, the work has special significance to the Art Institute because the mahogany desk on the far right side of the room is the tiny twin of a full-sized desk the Fields gave to the museum in the mid-1980s. It’s pictured below and is currently on display in Gallery 167.

The Americana Room was designed in the style of the oval drawing room of the neoclassical Nathaniel Russell House in Charleston, South Carolina. Fabricated by Eugene and Henry Kupjack, who worked with Mrs. Thorne, the room features a working fireplace, period furniture, and a precisely painted Impressionist canvas.