The Stettheimer Dollhouse was created by Carrie Walter Stettheimer from 1916 to 1935. In this process of 20 years, Carrie created a magnificent two-storey house which has twelve rooms and many little precise decorations in the style of the 1930s in New York.
The miniature art inside the dollhouse was made by many artists including Alexander Archipenko, Marguerite Zorach, Marcel Duchamp, George Bellows, and Gaston Lachaise.
Henrietta (Ettie) was an author and Carrie’s other sister, Florine, was an artist. They lived with their mother in New York, and during the first half of the 20th century, they attracted many celebrities such as authors, artists, and critics. Carrie got the idea for the dollhouse in 1916, when she was on a summer vacation in upstate New York with her sisters.
She immediately started to construct the idea using boxes made of wood that she took from the grocer’s, so at first, she created the house out of objects and scraps that she found around. When she returned home from the vacation, she commenced the dollhouse, which today is on display in the Museum of the City of New York. It is 50 inches long, 28 inches tall and 35 inches wide.
Many visitors admire the art collection of the dollhouse, and it is perhaps the most notable part but when the interior is reviewed closely, many tiny details can be seen, which Carrie made according to her preferences. She recreated the rooms of her sisters, Ettie’s room has red and blue walls, and it’s filled with Chinese furniture, while Florine’s room is made in lace and cellophane.
On the ground floor, there are two sculptures and three open doors. On the second floor, there is a terrace with many miniature plants. One of the cutest decorated rooms is the kitchen. It has every possible kitchen object, and breakfast is served on the table, including bread buns, tiny fruit pieces, and little plates with tiny spoons. The dining room has white furniture and a table with little bottles and glasses.
The Stettheimers dollhouse attracted many artists even after Carrie’s death. In 1980, Andy Warhol mentioned the dollhouse in his book Popism: the Warhol’60s where he talks about Florine and her amazing work as an artist and the talents of Carrie.
When her mother died, Carrie stopped the work on the house, and some of the rooms were left unfinished.