Angel’s Attic is a museum for miniatures located in Santa Monica, California that is dedicated to raising money to help treat autism, assist the elderly and disadvantaged children. The museum was founded in 1984 by Eleanor LaVove and Jackie McMahan who had the miniature collections that were initially used in the museum. Previous to creating the museum the two women used their love of miniatures to hold shows and garden parties as fundraisers for the nonprofit school for autistic children that was attended by Jackie McMahan’s granddaughter.
The museum is housed in a Queen Anne Victorian home that looks like many of the miniature homes that reside inside. The home was totally renovated to turn it from a neglected apartment building into the miniature museum. While primarily for children, the museum also attracts many adults who love miniatures and dollhouses. In the museum visitors will find both antique dollhouses and toys and contemporary miniatures. The collection of miniatures has grown over the years from the founders dollhouses to include donations and loans of dollhouses and miniatures from around the world. In the museum there are seven different galleries that include collections of dolls, Gottschalk dollhouses, and a miniature version of Versailles, an English dollhouse from 1864, the Boer War House, an English Shoe House, and the ever popular Noah’s Ark.
Angel’s Attic is currently cosponsored by the Angels for Autistic Children in benefit of the Julia Ann Singer Center and the Volunteers of America of Greater Los Angeles which provides funding for senior citizens and children from low income homes. Individuals who love visiting the museum and also want to help the nonprofit can purchase yearly memberships to the museum which comes with free admission to the museum for a member and a guest and discounts on miniature items in the museum shop. Volunteers are also always welcome and are fully utilized with the museum.
In addition to being fun to visit, Angel’s Attic is also informative providing a social history of how people lived their lives in different periods and a chronology of interior design, fashion and architecture. The museum also holds special events such as afternoon Victorian teas held out on the enclosed porch in the summer months. The garden area is also available for rental for special events such as weddings and parties.