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Dollhouses entertain all ages

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Marifrank DaHarb, director of ENMMC’s Senior Circle, is working with Miniatures and Curious Collections Museum. This German kitchen was made by the late Jack and Lannie Dunham while in Germany, shortly after Jack graduated from West Point. (Submitted Photo)

People think of dollhouses when they hear “miniatures,” with dads making dollhouses for their daughters. But dollhouses go back some 400 years and were decorated by wealthy Europeans.

For example, the 68 Thorne Rooms in the Chicago Art Institute are a big draw. Mrs. James Ward Thorne’s collection was made between 1932 and 1940 by master craftsmen according to her specifications.
Some folks in Roswell want to have their own museum to display miniatures and “curious collections.”
With two weeks to go to raise the funds to buy a building for the new Miniatures and Curious Collections Museum (MCCM), organizers are not only still seeking donations, but are also talking with a local bank about a loan.
“Without a building to start showcasing finished miniatures and rotating curious collection exhibits, we can’t generate income,” says Elaine Howe, one of MCCM’s founders. “We have great ideas for workshops, party opportunities and a gift shop.”
The group wants to raise $100,000 by June 30, which will not only buy the building located one street off Main, but pay for partial renovations to the roof and flooring. With about a quarter of those funds raised to date, MCCM organizers say they will push to the deadline and hope the bank comes through with any shortfalls.
“The building’s potential and the interest already generated in this new venture really keeps us going,” Howe said. “We’re so grateful to all our contributors — of both money and miniatures.
“Miniatures have quite a history here in Roswell,” said Howe. “There used to be an active organization that met regularly to share ideas and learn how to build certain furnishings. They even set up a large village at the Roswell Convention & Civic Center, complete with a ferris wheel and water tower.
“Jack and Lannie Dunaham were among our master craftsmen and we have many of their works to put on display.”
MCCM is a project under the nonprofit Roswell Interarts Organization, P.O. Box 2271, Roswell, NM 88202. For more information, email@roswellamoca.org or call 575-623-5600.