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Art Institute Decorates Thorne Miniature Rooms For Holidays

Art Institute Of Chicago

(credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The famous Art Institute lions won’t be getting their Christmas wreaths until the day after Thanksgiving, but the museum is still getting into the holiday spirit early.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the Art Institute is decking out its Thorne Miniature Rooms for the holidays.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports


The 68 dollhouse-like rooms, built on a scale of one inch to one foot, display what rooms around the world looked like in different historical eras.

Caretaker Lindsay Mican Morgan says adding the Christmas decorations is painstaking work.

“There’s a lot of tweezers. There’s often magnifiers involved,” she said.

Morgan says she spends months researching the holiday traditions for each room.

“Go through to (Oliver) Cromwell, when Christmas was outlawed, and there’s no decorations in that room,” she said, “and then Victorian, when an English queen is marrying a German, and lo and behold, Christmas trees are popular everywhere.”

Through the holidays, there is one new miniature room that’s never been seen publicly before. It is on loan from the private collection of Marshall Field V, the great-great-grandson of retail baron Marshall Field and the former publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times.