Growing up in Chicago, we were fortunate to have the incredible Art Institute of Chicago at our disposal. One of the exhibits that I never missed as a child (or miss now as an adult) are The Thorne Miniature Rooms.
These amazing rooms were the brainchild of Mrs. James Ward Thorne who hired craftspeople, architects and designers to create historically accurate interiors. They designed and produced miniature furniture, carpets, paneling, and drapery for the rooms; paying attention to the slightest detail, including the appropriate crystal, china and linens. Mrs. Thorne took many trips to Europe for the sole purpose of collecting additional miniatures and gathering ideas for future rooms.
I was (and still am) totally fascinated by these incredible endeavors and would stand on the ledge peeking into the windowed dioramas until nudged along by the next museum patron. The details are mind boggling and the results of her dedication are still delighting visitors today. Here are several of the 68 rooms on display at the Art Institute.
Thank you Mrs. Thorne for giving me such delight! These special rooms inspired my love of interior design as well as the desire for my career path.
If you would like to read further about Mrs. Thorne’s miniature rooms, the book is available from Amazon.