Inspired by the latest interior decorating magazines of her day, unconventional member of the Dutch nobility Lita de Ranitz (1876-1960) created a showpiece dolls’ house in 1910. It would become a hobby for life, and grow to be the favourite object of our museum visitors. This exhibition introduces you to the world of Lita and her husband, artist Willem Bastiaan Tholen (1860 – 1931). Tholen and De Ranitz, who married in 1919, were part of an extensive network of artists and courtesans, with whom they were at the centre of a true Hague social circle at the beginning of the 20th century. Not only is the dolls’ house packed with paintings by famous artists such as Jan Toorop, Louis Apol, Paul Gabriel, Johan Jongkind, Floris Arntzenius, and many others, it also contains 18th-century Amsterdam silverware, Norwegian cut-outs, Egyptian antiquities and Japanese miniatures.
The timelessness of our fascination for the world in miniature can be seen in the rest of the exhibition, in which the museum makes links to contemporary designers and collectors of miniature art and shows a selection of items from the collection of Ria en Lex Daniels. Nearly 300 miniature works of art can be seen, all part of their collection of work by such modern artists as Daniel Spoerri, David LaChapelle, Erwin Olaf and Rob Scholte.
See our featured post: The world behind a doll’s house