Small Talk

Where it all began…

Where it all began…

T/m’s large fine-scale miniature collection began with this three-inch rocking chair. One of our founders, Barbara Marshall, came across the subterranean storefront of Eric Pearson while shopping in New York City in the 1950s. Pearson began making miniatures twenty years earlier after a successful career as a full-sized cabinetmaker.

He had many loyal customers: Narcissa Thorne contracted him to make several pieces for her European and American rooms now on view at the Art Institute of Chicago. And he produced numerous custom-made furniture pieces for Eloise Kruger now housed in the Kruger Collection at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Pearson is often credited as the first professional fine-scale miniature artist in the United States.

What is a fine-scale miniature? Miniatures are accurate, scaled artworks of full-size pieces. Often they are made out of the same material as the full-size works and operate in the same way! Most of our collection is in 1:12 scale, meaning one inch in the miniature equals one foot in the full-scale piece.

Big Changes are A’Comin

Big Changes are A’Comin

We’d like to introduce you to The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures! Starting this January, the Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City will transform into The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.

What do you mean by “transform?” Well, we’ll be pausing museum operations on January 6, 2014 for a while so we can fix our building’s temperature and humidity issues, and create new exhibits. When we’re all done, we’ll be better able to share one of the United States’s largest collections of antique toys on public display and the world’s largest collection of fine-scale miniatures with you.

In the meantime, check back here often to learn about our collection and other toy and miniature collections around the world, see what inspires us from thought-provoking projects to invigorating individuals, and learn more about T/m’s past and future, including some radical photos from the 1980s.

Watch our renovation project unfold on our Facebook page and pin your favorite museum objects from our Pinterest boards.