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Photos of the NEW National Museum of Toys & Miniatures in Kansas City

Wm. R. Robertson

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After a 8 million dollar renovation with countless hours of work by the staff and contractors the museum is now open! It is FANTASTIC. The charactor is very different, it is no long a old mansion filled with Victorian dollhouses, toys and miniatures. It is now like a true museum with objects nicely displayed and text that describes them, take note, the captions for the miniature area are still being worked on and will take a few more months. I am just so pleased with what they have done and am proud to have so much of my work there.


So here is a little tour…… starting with a rare sight… a full parking lot!… over 550 came the first day!




The new paint color and logo on the outside




When you come in it is much more airy, the new colors are orange for toys and turquoise for miniatures, this theme is carried through to all printed matter and website.




The main stairway is filled with a rotating toy tower




All the toys are on the second floor, here is the Doll house gallery



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Here is the Colman House, it is the largest in the collection




Factory made toy houses




One of the many doll cases, keep in mind all these photos only show a fraction of the collection on display




There are cases by each decade to bring toys up to our time, to me the 50's and 60's cases were like a 3-d trip through the Sears Christmas catalog. I also find it somewhat strange that things I owned brand new are in a museum…… there is just something wrong with that concept….. but I loved it.




There is a large exhibit called Toys in the Attic with just all kinds of stuff




Many of the pieces have great histories, some of which have wonderful video programs to explain them



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There is a gallery devoted to how toys are made, in this exhibit one can slide the frame over a object, click a button and seen first a x-ray of it and then a video of how it was made.




Here you see a 800 pound mold fro a plastic truck, the bought this and then got a company to set it up and run some parts while taking a video…. very cool.




Just more cases of cool stuff….










and even video games



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There are two temporary exhibit galleries

The large one has a show on pedal cars


This video is great, narrated by Jimmy Stewart



The smaller gallery has a show on the Japanese Friendship Dolls from the 1920's… these are amazing

Here is a great description of these.....




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Now for the part about Miniatures, Here is an exhibit with 3 videos on the museum's co-founder Barbara Mashall's thoughts about collecting.




The walls are lined with cases showing individual pieces, thousands of them. Here are houses by Jim Marcus and mine own Twin Manors.




 BTW, the lighting is wonderful however my digital camera doesn't like this LED lights and makes it look much more harsh than it is.


Here is Frank Matter's 1/48 scale Boston Beacon Hill House from the 1950's. it is one of the most amazing  miniature projects ever.




Barry Hipwell and Ursula Dyrbye-Skovsted's Studiolo….. another amazing project.




Just one of the many wall cases, this one with Catherine R's stove.




The French Room





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The entrance to the Masterpiece Gallery




Sarah Salisbury's Miss Marples House, this is the one she wrote about in Nutshell News for 12 years.




Noel and Pat Thomas's house and others.








Micro minis



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I forgot to take any pictures in the maze, a hallway of miniature rooms or the Southwestern Room


This is the new Artists Workshop, a interactive gallery that shows how miniatures are made.


Lee Ann Wessel and myself are the sub jets of 4 vies showing how we machine brass candlesticks, cut dovetails, do egg temper painting and making a ceramic dish. All the tools you see in the videos are displayed in the cases so people can really get a true idea of how this is done.




Other exhibits show work in progress.




So that is your short little tour of one of the most amazing places on the planet to see the kind of miniatures we all like.

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Hope your trip and teaching was fun in Europe...


Is that a Unimat lathe in the photo in post #8 for the candlesticks? :)  I'm a little obsessed with lathes right now... Oh, we will definitely have to take a trip to the museum!  The renovations look wonderful, and it will be fun to walk down memory lane seeing the toys and then spending time seeing the miniatures.


I like the pedal car display, and I collected a few of those Hallmark pedal cars - The Mobley Horse was one of my favorite Hallmark toys / miniatures...


Thank you for posting the photos; will have to round up the friends for a trip to KC - will need recommendations for the best ribs in town too.



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This looks GREAT.   They did a wonderful job.   Hope we can get down to see it before too long.  Thanks for showing us this Bill.      Bob







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Thank you for the photos Bill, it all looks fantastic...I think one would need a few trips to really absorb it all...there are so much more to see than I ever thought.

My two daughters would want to carry the Star Wars collection home, my youngest named our dog Anakin and the cat Yoda!

The Japanese dolls are just great and oh my those pedal cars...I think I would have loved one as a child.

The miniature display...I think one needs to get up close and personal with it to really appreciate it, the lightning looks great too...some museums are so dim it is hard to see anything properly.

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Here are some more photos of the miniature areas, again sorry for the poor quality, these were taken with my iPad and it too just doesn't like the lighting, it either wants to make the picture too bright or too dark….


In the hall are a number of cases of miniature toys...




This shelf includes some of Bill Hudson's fantastic pieces like the pedal car fire truck, scooter and tricycle.




Here is the first thing you see when you enter the miniature gallery, a paneled wall, completely washed out in the photo, with a full scale chair, table and sampler and the same in 1/12th scale.




The maze is a dark hall filled with miniature rooms, at the entrance is Pat & Noel Thomas's Green & Green house fragment.




And my Architect's Classroom is still there…. some folks were worried when they didn't see it in the photos.




Here is the back hall of the maze, featuring some 1/2" scale work.



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At one end of this hall is the SouthWest Gallery






The newest addition to the maze was Mulvany and Rogers Art Deco Jewelry Shop, dolls by Maria Santos, Jewelry by Lori Ann Potts. As with so many of these pieces better photos of the objects can be found on the museum's website and blog.




Another main gallery view , those two freestanding cases are Lloyd McCaffery's ships….




Here is another view in the artist's studio gallery.




and a interactive for the kids, they get to take a pair of tweezers and try to put hands on a clock.



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Petitpointers, in the photo of the French Rooms, it looks like there is a massive French carpet that we have to check out!



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In Post #13, photo #6, I think the house on the left is a 1/2" scale cast front by Derek Perkins....?  I am not 100% sure but it is another treasure that I am definitely want to see in person,  in addition to the other masterpieces! 


Does anyone else know of the locations of the Russian Embassy house?  I saw one in the miniature museum in Taiwan.



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  • 1 month later...

I found a link for a YouTube ARTS UPLOAD for the Toytisserie.   If you love toys, please search.  "Toy and Miniature Museum's Toytisserie".  Published July 2, 2015.  (See post #1, photo 4).  I am not going to try and type that link.  :)



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  • 3 months later...

I just discovered the museum's blog on the Toy and Miniature Museum's website...lovely photos of the collection in great lighting!


It is a nice way to preview some of the collection, and then you can make mental notes before your visit of what you cannot miss!



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  • 3 months later...

Well, I finally ticked visiting the museum of my bucket list today...what a fantastic experience, seeing so many fine artisan miniatures under one roof!

Since Bill Robertson has already posted a lot of photos of the museum I am just going to post a few closer up photos of miniatures that caught my eye over the next few days.

First off, some glass and porcelain, items that I have a weakness for both in miniature and full scale.






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One of the pieces that I liked most in the museum is the Beacon Hill house build in 1/48 scale, the drawers and doors on all the furniture works. The tea set is made from white gold with a hollow spout. Tamra, I thought of you when I saw the staircase. This is really an incredible piece in so small a scale and abounds with amazing detail, I was lucky enough to see a slide show on the history and restoration of the house.








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The staircase in the Beacon house is quite, quite lovely, and a wonderful accomplishment in 1:48 scale.  Thank you Elga, for thinking of my future stair project and sharing these photos.



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