The Fisher Dollhouse: A Venetian Palazzo in Miniature

May 8–Sep 26, 2021

A magnificent diorama of ten rooms filled with an eclectic range of historical and contemporary craft, art, and design rendered in miniature, the Fisher Dollhouse was created within the confines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Inspired by Venice’s glamourous Gritti Palace and memories of a world once on the move, the dollhouse provided a haven for its creator and, during the months of quarantine, an escape. Like other crafts, its making offered a form of therapy: an activity to occupy the mind and hands as a means of coping with anxiety and immobility.

Joanna Fisher is a New York-based arts patron and collector. When the city went into lockdown, she felt her world shrink…and embraced it, literally. For this project, Fisher enlisted the talents of dozens of celebrated crafts persons, designers, artisans, and artists. The house itself was made to order by British set designer Holly Jo Beck. The stunning Murano-style glass chandelier came from glass artists Mario Ramos and Mariana Grande in Madrid. A painted bombe chest and bust of Julius Caesar are by David Castillo, a miniaturist in Barcelona. Fred Cobbs, a revered miniature metalworker in Georgia, made a range of tools and other items, from a watering can to a wine vat to an espresso machine. Most extraordinary are the miniature works of contemporary art created by ten prominent international artists, among them Dustin Yellin, Ryan McGinness, Hunt Slonem, and Veronica Gaido.

The Fisher Dollhouse installation also includes exquisite replicas of a festival tent, a gallery tent, and grotto tent containing micro artworks and other whimsical details that reward close looking. A project begun in isolation that expanded Joanna Fisher’s world far beyond her own walls, the Fisher Dollhouse is now open for all to inhabit and enjoy.  

The Fisher Dollhouse: A Venetian Palazzo in Miniature was curated by Caroline Hannah and organized by Hendrik Gerrits, deputy director, exhibitions and operations.

This exhibition is made possible through Joanna Fisher’s support and efforts.

Photo—Jenna Bascom

Use paper and paint to create this floral arrangement in miniature.

A room-by-room guide to the contents of the Fisher dollhouse and the makers.

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