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Still from the Small Stories trailer (C)V&A Museum, London

No Country for Old Dolls?

GUEST POST: Lauren vonBechmann gives the background to our new Small Stories trailer. One of our main aims of Small Stories is to bring each dolls’ house to life, and what better way to do that with a film? With the help of Peter Kelleher, V&A’s Motion Media Manager, aka filmmaker, we were able approach […]

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The final display. (C) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Curious Collage: an 18th century dolls’ house

One of the most exciting parts of redisplaying the dolls’ house gallery has been reviving the so-called ‘18th century room setting’. This intriguing group of furniture, cutlery and kitchenware, wooden panels and dolls has been around since 1877, when it was bought for £20 from a Staffordshire woman called Mrs Thornhill. There are many treasures […]

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Longest Party Table in the World, PriestmanGoode

Building a Dream House

As a finale to the Small Stories exhibition, we wanted to create something new. Something that would bring the story of dolls’ houses bang up to date, and reflect on some of the themes we’ve been thinking about when we planned the show. One key idea which came out again and again when Sarah and […]

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Inside LASSCO Ropewalk

Super-sizing the killer kitchen

Wouldn’t you love to go into one of these little rooms and get a closer look? In the Small Stories exhibition, you’ll be able to do just that. We are re-creating rooms from two of the houses life-sized (or thereabouts). You will be able to help out Henry and Betsy, working in the busy kitchen […]

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The mighty Mrs Bryant's Pleasure being carefully moved into place.

Back home in the gallery

Alongside the Small Stories exhibition, we have also been busy re-organising the dolls’ houses in the Museum’s permanent gallery. We were encouraged to re-think this gallery, on the top floor of the Museum, because the Tate baby House, Amy Miles’s House, the Killer Cabinet House and the Kaleidoscope House were leaving for Small Stories. This […]

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Contents of two houses temporarily packed to travel to South Kensington.

They say moving house is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do…

…If that’s the case then we’ve certainly been ambitious with our Small Stories exhibition, which involves moving 12 houses not just around the Museum but around the world for an international tour! But aren’t dolls’ houses much smaller and less complicated to move than the contents of a real home? How hard can it be? Sarah […]

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Whiteladies House. W.3-1937 (c) V&A Museum, London

Illuminating dolls’ houses

Lighting is vital for creating a particular atmosphere at home. Do you want it to be rich or minimal, soft and warm or stark and clinical? Developing our approach to lighting our dolls’ houses, we had to balance safety and protection for these treasured historic museum objects, with finding the right interpretive light effects to bring each […]

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'Jenny' in a sitting room of Jennys Home, B.360-2013 (c)V&A Museum, London

Lounge or living room?

Sitting room or saloon? Whatever it’s called, we’ve got plenty of them in the Small Stories exhibition. Louisa in the Tate Baby House is most certainly in a drawing room, a name evolved from its role as a place of ‘withdrawing’ from more public areas. As Thomas Sheraton explained in 1803, “the drawing room is […]

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Installation image of Tate Baby House, W.9-1930. (c) V&A Museum, London

Dearest daughter in law

In the Tate’s fine Manor House, Mrs Johanna Tate has received a letter from her mother-in-law. Johanna’s first pregnancy is a cause of nervous excitement, and everybody has advice of one sort or another. We can read over her shoulder: 12th March 1795 Johanna, Are you confined yet my dear? You must be very large […]

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Doll, c. 1900 MISC.47:4-1979 (c) V&A Museum, London

Meet George Humble. How do you do?

This is George Humble, one of the inhabitants of the Box Back Terrace house. In the Small Stories exhibition, you’ll be able to meet George and the other tenants of Mrs Reynolds’s small but neat South London lodging house. The year is 1900. George Humble has been a tenant of Mrs Reynolds for twelve years. […]

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