"Building a dollhouse is a lot like writing a novel because you are God of the universe," wrote novelist Jill McCorkle.
Viewers young and old, both realists and dreamers, get the chance to step into that intriguing miniature universe in The Art and Mystery of the Dollhouse, a new exhibit at the Concord Museum, on view Oct. 14-Jan. 15.
Here they'll see and savor a wide range of dollhouse, including many from superb Concord private collection. They range from a rare, early dollhouse from 1695 to an array of 19th and 20th century doll homes from The Strong National Museum of Play.
The earliest dollhouses displayed were not playthings, although their English and Dutch makers called them "toys," a name that referred more to their small stature than to their use.
The exhibit includes four examples of "room dollhouses," crafted by Ruth Rosenfeld, a Concord resident who created 50 rooms in all, each depicting a different period of design history.
There are also pieces of miniature furniture recreating pieces from the museum's permanent collection and a selection of R. Bliss Company dollhouses used as playthings by 19th and 20th century kids.
A celebrity doll makes an appearance, too. It's Melissa Shakespeare, the cherished doll of children's author and illustrator Tasha Tudor. Melissa's doll wedding was covered in the September, 1955 issue of Life magazine, and she served as a model in the acclaimed Tudor's charming illustrations.
An array of special programs includes a hands-on room box building workshop, story times with dollhouse-inspired crafts and gallery talks and programs led by specialists in the world of miniatures.
For more info, visit www.concordmuseum.org or call 978-369-9763.
- HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: The Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton, celebrates its 10th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 15, with free admission from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., plus crafts, cake, tours and fun. The first 50 folks through the door at 11 a.m. receive a free gift bag. That evening the Zingaresca Duo, a well-known 7-string guitar combo, perform a special concert from 7-8:30 p.m. Tickets in advance are $20/members and $25/day of concert for members; $30/$35 for nonmembers. Visit www.museumofrussianicons.org for info and tickets.
- GROUP SHOW: Faculty members from Middlesex Community College's Art & Design Department are showing works in a variety of media at Gallery Z, 167 Market St., Lowell. Free and open to the public, the show, on view through Oct. 23, reflects the many media disciplines taught at MCC from drawing, printmaking and painting to sculpture, ceramics, stained glass and graphic design. All featured faculty are actively practicing, exhibiting or published artists including Jan Arabas, Meredith Fife Day, Mary W. Hart, George Herman, Tamara Krendel, Yary Livan, Margaret Rack, Carolyn Stock, Margaret Swan and Kai Vlahos. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m., Sunday.
- IN TRANSITION: Lacoste Gallery showcases an array of sculptures by Tim Rowan in Transitions, on view Oct. 15-Nov. 10 at the 25 Main St., Concord, gallery. The exhibition is from an innovative time in the artist's life, the result of a new studio and different clay bodies. The work and this period of time represent rejuvenation for Rowan, who apprenticed with the inventive Ryuichi Kakurezaki, a Japanese master. An opening reception is on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 3 p.m. Visit www.lacostegallery.com for info.
Nancye Tuttle's email address is email@example.com.