The Stettheimer Dollhouse was created by Carrie Stettheimer (1869-1944), who was an important figure in the art world of New York during the 1900’s. Carrie along with her mother, and her sisters Ettie, and Florine Stettheimer were known for their famous salons held in their home for artists and writers that included Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, and Carl Van Vechten. In Carrie’s time, it had become a popular pastime for women in society in both the United States and Europe to create dollhouses using well know artisans of the time to fashion both the house and the furnishings. Carrie spent over twenty years working on a two story masterpiece of a dollhouse which perfectly reflects the extravagant interiors of the moneyed in New York City. The house being replicated was Carrie’s sister’s home that was recreated detail by detail.
One of the most famous rooms in the Stettheimer Dollhouse is a small art gallery where famous artists of the time, who heard about the dollhouse contributed miniature paintings and works of art for the dollhouse. Marcel Duchamp created a miniature painting of Nude Descending a Staircase and Gaston Lachaise painted a work entitled Nude Woman.
Upon the death of her sister Carrie, Ettie Stettheimer gave the dollhouse to the Museum of the City of New York in 1945, where it is on permanent display.
The courtyard of the dollhouse has a Greek style appearance in all white, where you can just see a spiral staircase ascending to the second floor. The hallways and rooms of the dollhouse sport elegant chandeliers, and lavish furnishings indicative of the time period. In all there are twelve rooms in the dollhouse which measures 28” high, 35” across and 50” in length. Several of the rooms are decorated according to different time periods of design, or according to international influences including a room with Chinese accents, South American designs, Baroque and French.