About a year or so ago, I had the chance to visit the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore and see their fascinating collection of dollhouses… of a sort. Actually what I got to see were the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, a series of 19 small dioramas handmade in the 1940’s in 1:12 inch scale.
The detail in these houses is extraordinary, and their creator, International Harvester heiress Francis Glessner Lee, handmade many of the pieces herself, having been taught the womanly arts of sewing, knitting and decoration as a young women. Pieces were knitted on straight pins, fabric was washed and dried dozens of times to creat the wear patterns, drawers open, cabinets are filled, and calendar pages are not only correct, but show the subsequent months.
All of this is a way of letting you know that my office is hosting a lecture on Wednesday, July 13 in Baltimore on the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. Tickets are $5.00 per person and can be ordered here. Although the Nutshells won’t be there because they’re part of a permanent exhibition at the Medical Examiner’s office, there will be plenty of fascinating information and amazing images of them. For more information on the lecture, please check my MedChi Archives blog, here.