Can a dolls’ house be called art?
22 June 2012
It’s an intriguing question and one which American poet and performer Nada Gordon has tried to answer in her ‘ululations’
Nada, it transpires, is also something of a dolls’ house enthusiast and is busy creating one of her own.
When someone asked her whether her dolls’ house was art, this was her reply:
“I don't know, it felt like sort of a loaded question. Isn't everything an artist does art if she says it is? And isn't it also problematic to assume that kitschy/marginalized/"women's” pursuits like dollhouses are in any way not art?
It’s all too easy to be patronising about a love of dolls’ houses, the implication that it is somehow childish and not at all a grown-up passion.
However, there are many fantastic dolls’ houses that are unquestionably works of art – Queen Mary’s dolls’ house for one, Titania’s Palace and Tara’s Palace – all of them magical creations.
Returning to Nada and her own dolls’ house, she writes:
“Is this art? All I know is that I'm putting a lot of myself and my time into it, it's full of emotions...”
And what more could you ask of any work of art?
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1 December 2011
We love to hear your comments on blogs we post on the website. It’s great that they can inspire you and bring back memories like the following which we've received from Stephen Murray.
Commenting on a feature about the famous dolls’ house, Titania’s Palace
, Stephen writes: “Am I one of the fortunate?
"That I was able to see Titania’s Palace, in its entirety in a big empty house beside a lake near the town of Gory, Wexford R.o.I.
"In July 1952, I was staying with friends in the Barnland Gory, and as I had travelled from Dublin on a motorcycle I was able to visit the house at the cost of 3 pence.
"Some 20 years ago, I was told that the original owners were the ESMONDES of Ballynastragh. Early in WWII a couple of German war ships ran through the channel to the North Sea and safety.
They were attacked by a detachment of six Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers led by a Eugene Esmonde who was killed in action and awarded a posthumous VC!”
9 September 2011
Titania’s Palace was the brainchild of the English painter and officer, Sir Neville Wilkinson who took his inspiration from his daughter, Gwendolyn. The little girl claimed to have seen a fairy in a wood beside the family home at Mount Merrion House in Ireland and her father decided to create a palace fit for fairies to live in.
Sir Neville commissioned a firm of Irish cabinet makers in 1907 to build the palace. Not a man to think small even in miniature, Sir Neville’s construction consisted of 18 rooms and salons and included 3000 tiny works of art and miniatures from around the world. It took almost 18 years to complete.
Sadly Titania Palace is not to be found in Ireland today. It was sold at auction in 1978 and found its way instead to Denmark, firstly displayed in Legoland and eventually ending up at Egeskow Castle where it can be seen today.