The Museum of Miniatures houses a collection of 226 tiny exhibits that take up almost all of its 14,000 square foot space.
Think 'miniature' and 'dollhouse' springs to mind, but more than dollhouses are on display here, from a replica of the Titanic (constructed with 75,000 toothpicks and two gallons of Elmerıs glue), to a 1940s diner, complete with a tiny root beer keg and bottles of ketchup.
Also of note are the museumıs exhibit of model cars and trucks, from a 1929 Bugatti to a 1956 Ford Thunderbird, sponsored by the Precision Die Cast Car Collectors Club. One of the museumıs most whimsical exhibits, however, is the sculpture collection by David McElroy, 'Tin Can Technology.' A former Mattel toy designer, McElroy constructs planes, cars and spaceships from recycled aluminum and tin throw-aways.
Most impressive are the detailed, albeit shrunken, duplicates of the Palace of Versaillesı Hall of Mirrors, as well as a Greene and Greene Craftsman bungalow, with its tiny Arts and Craft furnishings.
Indeed, much about the past can be learned while touring the museum. A reproduction of the Roman Forum from the year 205 A.D. vividly demonstrates what life was like in the days of Caesar, and a collection of miniature outhouses from the 1930s helps to illustrate America in the Depression era.
The museum strives to keep up do date. When a tour of Van Gogh paintings was mounted at LACMA, co-founder and curator Carole Kaye commissioned an exhibit of business-card-sized duplicates of the masterıs famous works, which are still on display. A scene from O.J. Simpsonıs infamous trial is also featured, as is a collection of doll-sized First Ladies, ranging from Martha Washington to Nancy Reagan, all dressed in authentic gowns.
Carole Kaye and her husband Barry founded the museum in 1992 with children in mind. The museumıs collection is accessible to those who are height-challenged via booster steps in front of each room-box display.
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