January 8, 2010

Twelve Meditations on a Dollhouse | Prologue

At the height of her popularity in the 1920s, film star Colleen Moore earned, it is said, a million dollars a year. In 1928 she commissioned the creation of a massive dollhouse to house her collection of miniatures.

Architect and film set designer Horace Jackson created the floor plan and layout of the dollhouse. “The architecture must have no sense of reality,” Jackson said. “We must invent a structure that is everybody’s conception of an enchanted castle.”

Completed in 1935, the dollhouse was exhibited throughout the United States and Canada to raise money for children’s charities. Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry acquired it in 1949, and there Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle, as it is now called, remains.


  1. Deron Bauman on January 8th, 2010 at 9:27 am

    great stuff.

  2. christopher walken on January 8th, 2010 at 11:48 am

    It was the highlight of our annual pilgrimage to Chicago. Last year, I got to take my kids and we were all delighted and itching to play.

  3. Sheila Ryan on January 8th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    People would riot in the streets of Chicago if the Museum of Science and Industry were ever to put it in mothballs. And rightly so.