One woman's lifelong passion for doll houses opens the door to history without any tediously didactic instruction.. The Scene In the large back room of a small framing gallery and collectibles shop, artist Anne Smith has found a way to turn her personal obsession into a marvelous museum in miniature. Fruits of over three decades of collecting hand-crafted doll houses, the period toy homes are lovingly (if painstakingly) refurbished, re-furnished and even re-wallpapered. Even without written commentary, this tribute to turn-of-the-century girlhood is rich with stories. To learn what they are, simply ask the on-site curator herself.
The Collection The core of Smith's priceless play things date from 1880 to 1910; an accompanying assortment of paper dolls, pharmaceutical bottles, board games and wooden marionettes covers an even broader range of time. Encased in glass and spanning from the floor to the bird cages, hat boxes and model airplanes overhead, this panoptical display is more than an eyeful. Talk to Smith and you'll get an earful as well.