Tags: In This Issue, Local
The Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections
Twenty years ago, miniature furniture and dollhouse enthusiasts Suzie Moffett, Suzanne Landshof and the late Nancy Lesh began to worry about the fate the smaller-than-life collectibles. They believed that dollhouses and miniature period furniture, painstakingly built and collected by Local artisans, were so precious that they should be preserved for future generations. In 1993, these three women opened The Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections right here in Carmel, Indiana.
I first visited the Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections in the 90s—you could see the entire collection in under an hour. I paid my second visit to the museum just last month and brought my friends from the Junior League of Indianapolis with me. We were overwhelmed at the 800+ square foot addition and the eight rooms displaying 12 magnificent dollhouses and at least 30 elegant rooms filled with period furnishings—the museum was much larger than I had remembered.
Over the years, the museum has gotten a reputation for meticulous and gentle care for all of its collectibles. Due to this sterling reputation, collectors from all over the United States are donating their miniatures to the Carmel museum so they can leave a family legacy that can truly be appreciated and cared for.
The museum features one "hands-on" dollhouse (see picture). The rest of the exhibits are for visitors enjoy and get an idea about what life was like for our ancestors. Among these exhibits is one that features the American Girls room boxes.
The staff at the museum are all volunteers with the exception of one part-time staff member who helps coordinate activities and volunteers. These dedicated volunteers are in short supply, however. In order to hold more workshops at the museum, more volunteers are needed! If you are interested in volunteering, please call 317-575-9466.
The museum changes its displays often. Suzie Moffett says both the attic and basement are full of treasures that rotate through the museum. You can visit the museum between Wednesday and Sunday of each week. During January, the museum will be closed for three weeks for cleaning and inventory. Admission for adults is $5 and admission for children under 10 is $3. For families building dollhouses or scale-model miniatures, there is a gift shop with period furniture, accessories and even chandeliers.
Suzie Moffett's late husband, Paul, was the electrician for many of the displays. He partnered in setting up the house and organizing the storage. In his memory are two period benches on Main Street by the main entrance of the museum.
If you are looking for something new to do with your family this November, be sure to check out the Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections. There are many mediums of art, and building miniatures and dollhouses is one of them! Expose your children to some art and culture this month, and read our article "Introducing Your Child to the Arts" to find out why.
Barbara Wynne is the founding publisher of Indy's Child Magazine.