August 08, 2011

Miniatures Monday: Woman Uses Miniatures to Teach Black History

While miniatures and dollhouses can be a fun way to recreate a piece of your personal past or capture a moment in time, they also can be used to document history.

Karen Collins began by making roomboxes with ice cream shops and other fun scenes, but after her son went to prison she found new purpose by recreating scenes showing the various aspects of African American history.

Fifteen years and 50 roomboxes later, she has created a collection that is as enlightening as it can be thought-provoking and disturbing: scenes showing a lively gospel choir and churchgoers, men sitting at a diner and Hattie McDaniel from Gone with the Wind as the first black Academy award winner, to the Klan in Black history, and more.

The exhibit, which often mixes scales and uses actual newspapers or photos for the backgrounds, includes many dolls she made herself. The rooms were used as educational tools in Los Angeles schools and will now become part of a permanent museum exhibit.

* Read the full story here. * See the roombox Photo Gallery


  1. What an interesting story! Thank you for letting other people know!

  2. I think it's an awesome exhibit and Karen seems to be a very talented artist.


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