Thursday, October 14, 2010
Some rich folks spend their time on yachts, or vacationing in Europe.
Some, like Frances Glessner Lee, build eighteen dollhouse dioramas of crime scenes. Frances had an all-consuming interest in crime. During the 1930's she created composite details of actual violent crimes and then recreated them in miniature, right down to tiny working locks and equally tiny bloodstains.
Eventually she founded the Harvard University Department of Legal Medicine in 1940 and donated what had become known as The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, using them for crime scene investigation lectures. After the department closed in 1966, the dioramas ended up in the Maryland Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore on permanent loan.
This crime scene dollhouse idea is unusual enough on its own.
But I'd like to add that for the last six years I've had a daughter fascinated with miniatures and forensic science, and we actually had this idea for a dollhouse early on in her studies.
Tiny little stabbings, tiny little hangings, tiny little guns, tiny little knives.
So either that makes Frances Glessner Lee a little more normal, or it makes us a little weirder.