Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Burke Dollhouse

6' wide x 5' tall.  Fully functioning electrical lighting
and running water in the kitchen and bathroom...

Recently, a very special dollhouse was donated to the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA).

It's special because of its size and complexity.  The rooms were outfitted over many years, and no attention to detail was spared.

One can look into each corner of a room, and discover something new upon every viewing.  The house is truly a work of miniature art.

The dollhouse was donated by Mary Livingston [Griggs] Burke, who passed away in 2012. It was built in the early 20th century, and had been added to over the decades by the original owner and her daughter. The family foundation donated the dollhouse to the MIA in 2013.

Ms. Burke, a distinguished art collector,  made known her intention to donate her Japanese art collection upon her death to the MIA.  The dollhouse may have been a fortunate after thought that the MIA inherited along with it.

Michelle Mausi, the author of
Tales of the Tchotcke Family 

One of the staff at the MIA began taking snapshots of the rooms as well as the miniature figurine characters that inhabit them, captioning each image with a fictional narrative.

The figurines became the Tchotcke family.  They had individual names, back stories, and narratives for their particular scenes.

You'll want to check the stories out here and here.