My Miniature Corner of the Net

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Frank Lloyd Wright's Bachman-Wilson House at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

One of the new exciting displays under construction at the Crystal Bridges Museum is the addition of the Bachman-Wilson House.  The museum acquired this Usonian house designed by world renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

This is a rendering of the house circa 1954

This is a close up view of the model on display

This architectural model on display at the museum shows where the house will sit on the museum grounds.

On January 15, 2014 the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas announced that it was acquiring the Bachman-Wilson house and has made plans to relocate the house in its entirety to the museum grounds,

The house is slowly taking shape on the museum grounds.  This was as close as I could get.

This photo shows the house at its original home in Millstone New Jersey prior to relocation.  The front façade of concrete blocks has an almost fortress-like appearance to ensure privacy from the street. The house is built with Way-Lite concrete blocks and Philippine mahogany trim. It has a second story, rare in a Usonian house, with cantilevered balconies. The living room has a built-in banquette facing a wooded scene through a wall of 10 foot high glass panes, symbolizing a transcendental pew set before the altar of nature.

The public space is a dramatic focal point, with walls of glass and an open floor plan. Cut-out wooden panels of abstracted forms over 24 clerestory windows provide an unobtrusive yet restrained decorative touch to this lavish space. These recall Native American geometric motifs as well as stylized forms that may be based in nature. Construction was completed in 1956.

To see more about my trip to the Crystal Bridges Museum click HERE

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

I had the opportunity to travel to Bentonville Arkansas last weekend and visited the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

This is an aerial view of the architectural model of the complex which spans creek-filled ponds.  The multi-million dollar facility is built of concrete, wood and glass and contains literally billions of dollars in art.  If you are ever in the area, you should definitely stop in.  The price of admission is free!

Here is an photograph of the same view.  The facility was designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie from Boston and was commissioned by Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton and ranked as one of the world's wealthiest women.

The galleries are organized chronologically and contain American art spanning from the 1700's through the present.  I have posted a few pieces below.

This giant stainless steel tree is at the entrance

My wife was enjoying the Georgia O'Keeffe painting in one of the galleries of art formerly owned by her husband Alred Stieglizt.

This painting of Rosie the Riveter is by Norman Rockwell

Part of the early work contains these two paintings of George Washington, America's first President.  I liked the contrast between the young George and the old one (1797).  The painting of the older George is by and the museum reportedly paid $7,250.000. for it and paid $8,100,000.00 for the oil on canvas of the younger George.

I liked both the frame and this painting of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago 1893 - the world's fair changed the face of American Architecture.

I liked this painting of hollyhocks.  They were a favorite element used in geometric patterns by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  This painting was by John Lafarge and dates from 1895

This was probably my favorite painting.  It is entitled Lantern Bearers and dates from 1908.  The lanterns seem to literally glow.  The museum reportedly acquired this piece for $4,272,000.00.  One of the most exciting new acquisitions of the museum is a Frank Lloyd Wright house which they are currently re-assembling on the museum grounds after re-locating it from New Jersey.  I will post some pictures of it later.

To see Frank Lloyd Wright's Bachman-Wilson House, Click HERE

Monday, July 13, 2015

Victorian Cottage Jr.

An old friend of mine gave me a kit that he and his daughter started a few years ago.  It is the Special Edition Victorian Cottage Jr. by Real Good Toys.

 The kit is a combination of plywood and press board and goes together fairly quickly.

 This kit has a small porch, but I am going to do something a bit larger.

I think it will be a great place to show off my antique cast-iron pieces that I have been collecting.  

 It's still a work in progress and needs some accessories.

 and some Victorian style curtains.

 I want to keep the house fairly simple so that the focus in on the furniture.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Playmobil Wedding Day

My nieces and nephew came over for dinner tonight. 

 After dinner, we played with the Playmobil Victorian Mansion

The play evolved into a big wedding!  I was able to find a red carpet for the event and appropriate music on my iphone.

 I love these kids, they have such great imaginations!
( note the photographer on the balcony!)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Recent Acquisitions

I have found a few interesting miniature accessories recently at some local estate sales.

This handpainted 1" tall piece is all ceramic in a brown vase
I found the makers mark online it is Campodimonte from Italy

I could not find this mark online but it is also about 1" tall and made of wood

This piece is marked Austria and also stands about 1" tall

 This "basket & flowers" is make from sea shells and is not marked

The basket and flowers is also ceramic and is not marked.  It stands 1" tall

The buffet is an x-acto kit from the 1980's.  It has working doors and drawers.  I believe the tray is a lead piece that has been painted.  The pewter mask caught my eye.  It measures about 1" across.  There was a whole dish of them.  I am not sure where I will display it - Any ideas?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dunham's Cocoanut Dollhouse

Since I have been collecting miniatures, I have been fascinated with the Dunham's Cocoanut Dollhouse, made in America in the late 1800's. The house was originally a wooden packing crate for Dunham's Cocoanut, a shredded confection used for baking, particularly as a cake topping. The crate was sent out to stores to hold and display several boxes of shredded coconut.

I came across one of these the other day at a local antique mall.  It measures 28 inches tall.  The houses are known for having a split in the paper on the interior where the two pieces of wood on the crate come together.

The wooden crate has it's original red paint and lithographed paper for the exterior, the floors and the interior walls.  It is a little rough around the edges, but still fun to see.

The first floor is a kitchen with a red checkerboard floor and a pantry full of Dunham's Cocoanut and some dishes and a clock.

The second floor represents a dining room complete with a mounted moose head, an aquarium with fish, shelves, paintings and and a bay window with potted plants.

The third floor is a Victorian parlor with a piano, some ferns, and lots of pictures on the walls.

The top floor is most likely a bedroom with some stained glass accents in the window and several wall pictures.  The paper on the floor is made to look like wood plank and has a large area rug.

Both the ends of the create are painted and embossed with this 

 The sides are papered to look like a stone exterior with windows.  The printed windows do not correspond with the windows on the interior.