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The Stettheimer Dollhouse by Sheila W. Clark

The Stettheimer Dollhouse

by Sheila W. Clark

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I got this as a review book from LibraryThing. It is a fine book. There is a description & a lot of pictures of a dollhouse created by a woman artist in NYC in the early 20th century. Carrie Stettheimer lived with 2 sisters, one a serious painter, and her mother. They had an active social life and knew many prominent people including important avant garde artists; some of these contributed miniatures to be housed in the art gallery of the dollhouse. The book is nicely put together.
  franoscar | Nov 15, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Carrie Stettheimer constructed her dollhouse between 1916 and 1935, decorating the rooms in a then-modern fashion and acquiring miniature artwork and sculptures designed for the dollhouse by prominent artists. The book outlines the history of the dollhouse and each room is described and photographed in detail. At the end of the book, there are close-ups of the art created for the house along with information about the works and their artists.

I saw the house in person at he Museum of the City of New York, and I now wish that I had this book before. I'm a fan of miniatures and there's no denying that the house is exceptional, but the background about the art, Carrie Stettheimer, and the rooms' interior design make me appreciate it even more. I hadn't realized how accurately it modeled the interior design trends of 1920s New York or what an extraordinary miniature art gallery it possessed. My other wish is that the book had been larger, allowing for bigger photographs of the house. Overall, it's a lovingly compiled and informative book about a lovingly created and historically significant dollhouse. ( )
  anotherjennifer | Sep 8, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I admit I had not heard of the Stettheimer dollhouse before getting this book. I have seen the miniature room collection at the Chicago Art Institute, which is wonderful, the 17th century dollhouses at the main art museum in Amsterdam, silent film start Colleen Moore's fairy castle at the Science and Technology Museum also in Chicago and the miniature White House at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. All wonderful pieces, but none of them are as personal as the Stettheimer dollhouse.

Two things makes this dollhouse standout. The first is that the house and just about everything in it was made by one woman, Carrie Stettheimer. Ms. Stettheimer never married but she ran her family's household during the first half of the 20th century. She took care of her mother and watched her talented sisters make a name for themselves, one as a writer the other as a painter. Carrie put her creative energy into her dollhouse. The results are fanciful and charming and clearly show the presence of a single creative personality behind them.

The second thing that makes this dollhouse a standout is the art on its walls consists entirely of original pieces most of them done by well known artists including Marcel Duchamp who drew a miniature version of his famous painting "Nude Descending a Staircase" just for Ms. Stettheimer's dollhouse. Even the statues pictured on the cover are original pieces done just for this dollhouse.

The Stettheimer Dollhouse is a delightful peek into one creative mind and an unusual and unexpected review of the early 20th century American avant-garde art scene. Well worth checking out, The Stettheimer Dollhouse is this week's Wednesday Wonder. ( )
  CBJames | Jul 31, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Gorgeous photography and wonderful commentary. Would never have thought I'd be interested in a dollhouse, but this is a really interesting showcase for avant garde art, in miniature. Loved it, and wouldn't have ever known about it were it not for LT's Early Reviewers' program. ( )
  vsmith | Jul 21, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
First Line: One of the most celebrated and distinctive objects in the Museum of the City of New York's Toy Collection is the Stettheimer Dollhouse, made between the world wars by Carrie Walter Stettheimer (1869-1944).

The oldest of three wealthy sisters, Carrie Walter Stettheimer assumed the responsibilities of running a large and very social household while her two younger sisters pursued their own artistic talents. For nineteen years Carrie worked on this dollhouse, and it's obvious just from looking at the rooms that she had to have had her own artistic aspirations. She made many of the furnishings by hand, and she purchased and embellished many others. As a window into the world between the wars, Carrie's dollhouse is of importance, but what truly sets it apart from all others is its art gallery. Many of the Stettheimers' friends were well-known artists, and they contributed tiny works of art to the dollhouse.

Both photos and text are fascinating and make me want to learn more about the Stettheimers. The book also reminds me of when I wanted my own dollhouse to furnish when I was a little girl. The Stettheimer Dollhouse would be of interest to anyone who collects dollhouses and miniatures. ( )
  cathyskye | Jul 8, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764948024, Hardcover)

Infusing her sensibility into every detail--from the Limoges vases in the chintz bedroom to the crystal-trimmed candelabra in the salon--Carrie Walter Stettheimer (1869-1944) wove together the fashion and style of New York's high society in the early twentieth century to create one of the finest dollhouses in the world. Stettheimer worked on the twelve-room dollhouse for nearly two decades, creating many of the furnishings and decorations by hand. Styles of decoration vary from room to room, yet the wallpapers, furniture, and fixtures are all characteristic of the period following World War I. The result is a magnificent work of art, now in the permanent collection of the Museum of the City of New York.

What may be the most astounding aspect of the Stettheimer Dollhouse is its one-of-a-kind art gallery, featuring miniature works from renowned avant-garde artists of the 1920s. Along with her mother and two sisters--Florine, a painter whose works are in many major museum collections, and Ettie, a writer--Stettheimer hosted grand soirées attended by contemporary artists, including Alexander Archipenko, Marcel Duchamp, and Gaston Lachaise, who presented her with miniature works for her dollhouse. The Stettheimer Dollhouse showcases all the works created especially for the dollhouse, including Duchamp's three-inch version of Nude Descending a Staircase.

Each artist in the collection is profiled, while descriptions and color photographs of each room in the dollhouse offer an intimate tour of this delightful masterpiece.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:20 -0400)

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An edition of this book was published by Pomegranate.

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