Lita de Ranitz’ large dolls house takes pride of place at the The Hague’s Historical Museum, from Saturday 17th of February till Sunday 10th of June. It is part of an exhibition around her dolls houses, collection of miniatures, her husband and friends’ paintings, and modern versions.

Lady Lita de Ranitz started with one dolls house, but became an avid collector. The museum now owns twenty of her miniature buildings. It also owns her collection of over 1,000 miniature items. Rest assured: visitors are treated to a selection.

Many items were made in Holland. Some Lita inherited. She also ordered from as far away as Egypt, China, Japan, as well as South America and other continents.

Paintings by husband Willem Bastiaan Tholen and friends are exhibited: normal and miniature ones. For Lita asked her husband and artist friends including Jan Toorop, Johan Jongkind and plenty others, to create miniature art for her dolls houses.

In 1910, Lita’s ‘big’ small house was finished. Invitations were dispatched for an official opening. Friends – including Queen Emma – came and signed the miniature guest book.

The exhibition’s last room shows modern miniature buildings. There is a working ‘publishing house’ created by Remy Zandberg, as well as a miniature modern-art museum.

Like Lita before them, Ria and Lex Daniels asked artists to create miniature works of art. Artist who complied include Niki de Saint Phalle, David LaChapelle, Rob Scholte, Daniel Spoerri, Sol LeWitt and over 800 others. A mere 300 contemporary works of art from their collection numbering over 2,000 are exhibited.

The world of dolls houses outdated, dull?

Not at the The Hague Historical Museum!

Lita de Ranitz’ large dolls house, 1910, courtesy The Hague Historical Museum, photographer Rob Mostert. (1,40 MB, 72 dpi)

Queen Emma’s signature, in the miniature visitors’ log, courtesy The Hague Historical Museum, photographer Rob Mostert. (737 KB, 72 dpi)