Sunday, March 28, 2010

Little People Living in Little Towns

Soldier's Home, 1943 by C. David Claudon
Have you been facinated by the idea Gulliver's Travels and seeing miniature people living in a full little town? Much of my life I have. The 1:12 inch scale room above speaks to that fascination.

I like to imagine that Swift had seen one of those early dollhouses that the Dutch and English delighted in. Called poppenhuis in the Netherlands, these often became so elaborate that legend has it that at least one woman bankrupted her husband to fill hers with silver accessories.When I visited Amsterdam in the 1970s, I especially wanted to check out the poppenhuis at the Rijks Museum. [For information on this poppenhuis, check out here.]

Inspired by the cabinet dollhouse, when I returned home, I started Braymore-at-Carnavan, a 10-room dollhouse built in two adjoining bookcases. Over the years, it became the place to put in a collection of miniatures and allowed me to design and  decorate a turn-of-the-century 10-room setting.

Among the other stops in that visit to Holland included Madurodam where famous Dutch buildings have been reduced to 1:25 scale. To stand among the buildings gives us the feeling of a Gulliver in Lilliput.

All of this leads to this little gem of a film, The Sand Pit by Sam O'Hare, which at first glance appears to be of beautifully done miniatures but instead is of life-size people from Manhatten and Brooklyn. The scale suddenly made me examine, how do I understand and "read" scale. This is a fascinating film.

Enjoy The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

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