The front on this house opens mechanically and shows the inside.

Miniature Time Machine Museum

This week we visit the Mini-Time Machine Miniature Museum.  What a treasure!  I have always been fascinated with miniatures, and at one time collected several Lilliput Lane buildings.( I loved those little houses!)  The museum was a labor of love created by members of the Tucson miniature collectors club, but primarily by Pat Arnell and her husband, Walter.  MANY of the pieces were created by Pat and I think the museum came about because there was no longer room in her home for all the pieces.




This museum has 4-5 huge rooms filled with doll houses and vignettes in recycled boxes and odd pieces of furniture or other containers.  There are pieces that go back to the early 1800s and pieces that were created recently.  What is really amazing is the decorating the museum does each year for Christmas, decking out EACH of the pieces with Christmas decorations.  Truly amazing the amount of time that must be needed to accomplish this task.

Mini historical facade

Mini historical facade

Inside historical mansion

Inside Historical Mansion

What is really amazing is the decorating the museum does each year for Christmas, decking out EACH of the pieces with Christmas decorations.  Truly amazing the amount of time that must be needed to accomplish this task.

Christmas at the Museum

Christmas at the Museum

There was a docent part of the way through the museum who gave us a bit of history about miniatures.  Up until 1970, there was no such thing as scale in miniature creations.  Many of the oldest doll houses are filled with items that are totally out of scale with other items.  In 1970, four different scales were established and most miniature collectors create scenes to these scales – 1 inch to 12 inches, ½ inch to 12 inches, ¼ inch to 12 inches, and 1/8 inch to 12 inches.  The docent has a demonstration where she had lots of different scale pieces and I was supposed to fit the pieces into the correct scale room/box.  It was a fun exercise and really made me look at the different creations in a different light.

Not all vignettes are houses and rooms. This is an ostrich egg.

Not all vignettes are houses and rooms. This is an ostrich egg.

This museum is one of those treasures most people will skip over, but DON’T.  The artistry and the craftsmanship in these labors of love are well worth two hours (or more) to see.

Entry fee is $9 per person or $8 for seniors, a mere pittance for what you get to see.  Even Cooper was entranced by it all.

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