November 29, 2010

Fabulous dollhouses that could be yours

David Wiesand’s tribute to English neoclassical architect Sir John Soane. Photo: David Wiesand

For those seeking to find a special holiday gift, five dollhouses up for silent auction at the university’s Evergreen Museum & Library offer a unique twist on the traditional toy. Johns Hopkins’ Gilded Age house museum asked local artisans, designers and talented crafters to take home and decorate an unfinished three-story wooden dollhouse. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the restoration of Evergreen’s historic kitchen.

Furniture designer and artist David Wiesand of McLain Wiesand rebuilt his stock dollhouse into a classical structure and filled it floor to ceiling with examples of classical art, sculpture and architecture in a kind of tribute to English neoclassical architect Sir John Soane. “The best part was the arranging of all the reliefs, busts, miniature buildings and fragments in the dollhouse interior, building a still life of objects to delight the eye,” Wiesand wrote on his blog,

Wiesand’s colleague Virginia Jarvis fashioned her dollhouse into a dilapidated English manor house whose interior explores “the idea of domestic voyeurism”: The house is completely closed except for a peephole in each window through which you can see the intricately furnished rooms.

The remaining dollhouses were decorated by Meg Fairfax Fielding, writer of the popular design blog Pigtown Design; Inez Eicher, a member of the museum’s advisory council and the wife of Johns Hopkins’ senior vice president for external affairs and development, Michael C. Eicher; and James Abbott, Evergreen director and curator.

Evergreen is inviting the public to stop by to view and bid on the dollhouses through Sunday, Dec 12.

The museum will host its annual holiday open house, An Ever Green Evening, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9, and a card-making workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11.

For more information, call 410-516-0341 or go to