It revealed one of the many philanthropic pursuits undertaken during the holiday season by the creator of the Thorne Miniature Rooms, Mrs. James Ward Thorne. The photographs inside recorded the elaborate dollhouses she created as gifts to local hospitals, including Children’s Memorial Hospital (now Lurie Children’s Hospital).
Inspired by these charitable acts, Lindsay decided to commission a tribute to Mrs. Thorne, something that could be displayed over the holiday season. She conceived the idea of a miniature dollhouse that could join other miniature decorations that are installed each year in other Thorne Rooms. These include the dreidel resting on a coffee table in the California Hallway, about 1940 and the fine garland woven through matchstick-sized banister rails in the staircase of the Virginia Entrance Hall, 1751–55—each painstakingly placed with tweezers.
The first step was to contact Nell Corkin, a mini-mini expert (that’s 144 scale!) for advice and guidance at her studio in Michigan. So Lindsay hopped in her car and off she went.
Once the walls and roof are finished and everything is painted and in place, the dollhouse is packed up and driven to the Art Institute, though in a car of regular proportions.
Mrs. Thorne’s dollhouses provided delight for children who were confined to hospital during the holidays. This miniature dollhouse, representing Mrs. Thorne’s compassion and generosity, will join our yearly celebration of the season of giving in the Thorne Rooms.
See the dollhouse in person this year through January 7.