An Autobiography: Chapter 44, Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle

| 11/26/2012 10:23:21 AM

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Georgianna’s favorite museum exhibit was the enchanting Fairy’s dream home of Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle in Chicago’s Museum of Science and Energy. This elaborate miniature dollhouse was created by the silent film star in the 1930s and donated to the museum in 1949. It has delighted millions with its tiny treasures, including murals and paintings executed by Walt Disney himself, chandeliers adorned with real diamonds, emeralds and pearls, the tiniest Bible ever to be written, and ancient statues more than 2,000 years old. This is truly one of the museum treasures of the world, and at the museum you can take a magical audio tour through its whimsical, intricate rooms.

Through her childhood, like Georgianna, Colleen Moore was always fascinated by dolls and dollhouses. Later in life, Colleen’s father suggested that she should pursue her passion for miniatures and dollhouses by creating the “dollhouse” of her dreams. Her position as one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood gave her the connections and resources to produce her miniature home of fantastic proportions. Beginning in 1928, she enlisted the help of many talented professionals. By 1935, more than 700 individuals had given their expertise, including surgical instrument lighting specialists, Beverly Hills jewelers and Chinese jade craftsmen. The price tag for this palace, which was 8 feet 7 inches by 8 feet 2 inches by 7 feet 7 inches and containing more than 2,000 miniatures, soared to $500,000. The Fairy Castle remains a timeless reminder of the imagination, ingenuity and craftsmen of cultures and artisans from all over the world.

Moore with Dollhouse 044 

Colleen Moore with her Fairy Castle. 

In 1935, Colleen Moore’s fascination with her dollhouse was transformed by the Great Depression into a passion for helping children. She organized a national tour of the Fairy Castle, and it was a huge success, raising more than $650,000 between 1935 and 1939.

Here are some highlights of the Fairy Castle: