No Dolls Allowed

Yesterday I went to the Museum of the City of New York with my mom, who was visiting for a few days. Unfortunately much of the museum’s permanent collection was not on view because of renovations, but we got to see the Stettheimer dollhouse, which was pretty fascinating.

Here’s an image of some of the dollhouse rooms from the museum’s website:


I didn’t have my camera with me and there aren’t many good photos of it online. Made by the New Yorker Carrie Stettheimer in the early 20th century, it’s charming as a dollhouse, but the most fascinating thing about it is the miniature artwork that decorates many of its walls. These tiny pieces were created by some well-known artists, including Marcel Duchamp and Gaston Lachaise, friends of the Stettheimer family.


I’ve never been a dollhouse hobbyist, but like train sets, there’s something irresistibly charming about the miniature possibilities they offer. After leaving the museum, I recalled seeing a very unusual dollhouse at the Museum of Arts and Design last fall made by Jennifer Angus. Her highly decorative piece, which was part of the “Dead or Alive” exhibit, was an enclosed dollhouse (viewable only through peep holes) inhabited by hundreds of posed insects.


It was my favorite piece in a very fun and unusual exhibition.

So now I’m thinking I need to make a dollhouse! Knitted of course. Knitted color work walls, knitted grizzly bear rugs, knitted gnomes in the garden, and gargoyles on the roof. This would be a big project, but so much fun, right? Surely I’ll find the time to get started on it one of these days…

13 thoughts on “No Dolls Allowed

  1. wonderful idea! maybe you could oversee the project and get submissions to scale so you wouldn’t have to do it all yourself.

  2. I’ve wanted to knit a dollhouse for awhile now, but I haven’t figured out quite how to do it yet. I know if you made one it would be awesome!

  3. That does sound like a great project, and I want to see that exhibit. I’ll have to see when I’m next going to make it to NYC.

  4. A knitted dollhouse would be really cool! My dad and I built a dollhouse when I was a kid, down to laying individual little cedar shakes on the roof. I got to pick all the colors for the paint, I got old wallpaper sample books and used them to wallpaper some rooms, and I picked out all kinds of fun furniture. I would love to see what you can do with a knitted version!

  5. That is a great idea! Please add the pattern to your shop! I love the bear rug idea! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  6. You could use “fun fur” for a shag carpet! That’s one of those projects that will never end. There will always be something to add or change. You could theme it to holidays and such. Good luck!!

  7. Oh my gosh a knitted dollhouse is the most fantastic idea! I really hope you find the time to make one! =)

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