Friday, February 19, 2010

Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle

A proud Chicagoan, I have to admit that my favorite part of the Museum of Science and Industry is probably the least scientific or industrial exhibit: Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle. The actress collected miniatures and over time amassed a dollhouse-sized castle worth half a million dollars (and this is according to numbers from 50 years ago).

I was so excited to find this children's book at my campus' free thrift store last year. Published in 1964, it contains facts and pictures of the castle. Here are a few of the pages, starting with the cover:

The second to last one was of Colleen Moore herself, holding Cinderella's coach.
The miniatures in the Fairy Castle aren't just any fairylike dollhouse furniture, but many are made of precious metals. There is functional plumbing for the bathrooms and fountains. Artifacts in the castle come from all over the world, some constructed specifically for the castle, some true antiques. I was most excited to find out that the music for the piano in the drawing room (pictured below) was handwritten by famous composers of the day, including three of my favorite composers, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, and Stravinsky!

For more information or pictures, go here

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