The ultra-detailed tiny spaces of the Throrne Miniature Rooms are one of the best-loved exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago, and this year, the lilliputian living spaces have an extra dose of holiday flair.
Of the exibition's 68 rooms, 11 have been dressed with seasonal trimmings like wreaths, garlands, mini mistletoe balls and bite-sized menorahs. Each of the painstakingly crafted decorations fits the era the room depicts, such as the Victorian-style tabletop Christmas tree (or "tannenbaum") lit with candles in the English drawing room representing 1840-70.
(See photos of the holiday-decked Thorne Miniature Rooms below.)
The AIC announced a Pennsylvania Dutch (German) room would be added to the decorating lineup, while an original German Rococo room will be displayed for first time in 50 years.
"Chicago Tonight" aired a special on the exhibition Tuesday evening, and spoke with curator Lindsay Mican Morgan on why the tiny creations, conceived by Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago, have remained so popular.
Though it's just speculation, one reason for the continued buzz about the rooms could be the AIC's ever-clever ways of marketing of the exhibition: earlier this year the museum released an online "Game Of Thrones" in which players navigate a maze created from rooms in the collection.
Holiday displays in the Thorne Miniature Rooms will be open to the public in Gallery 11 of the Art Institute of Chicago until Jan. 6.
WATCH a "Chicago Tonight" segment on the mini rooms: