|Quilty floor! / 16th C France|
During the Depression she engaged unemployed skilled craftsmen to create the 1:12 scale models of period rooms from upper-class homes from France, England, and the U.S. (And a few others (see the Chinese room, below).) Early exhibitions were private charity fundraisers. They were displayed to the public at the 1933 Century of Progress Exhibition (Chicago) and the 1940 World’s Fair (New York).
The Art Institute created a permanent gallery for 68 Thorne Rooms. It opened in 1954. The Phoenix Art Museum has
20 rooms andthe Knoxville Art Museum has nine rooms. [We saw the Phoenix rooms some years ago. It was so odd to see Thorne Rooms that were unfamiliar-yet-familiar.]
|Traditional Chinese Interior|
The rooms are cleaned with cotton swabs and tweezers. There is a detailed layout plan for each room to ensure that items are put back in their proper places.
My favorites have always been the American rooms, especially the 18th century.
A new room was installed in 1999 to commemorate Frank Lloyd Wright. It took 800 hours to create!