Check out these cool kitchen images:
Slice of Life
Image by BruceTurner
Thorne Rooms at KMA, Majorcan Kitchen
Image by Knoxville Museum of Art
Majorca is an island midway between North Africa and the southern coast of France. It is part of the Balearic Islands and was colonized by Spain. Majorca is known for its colorful pottery and glazed tiles called majolica, which have been made there since the time of the Moorish occupation. This kitchen would have been part of a farmhouse as is evidenced by the tools and the farmer’s wood shoes that were to be worn outside. The arched windows and decorative tiles above the bench suggest Moorish influences. The ceiling is high to keep the room cool and the large fireplace is similar to the one in the Early American kitchen.
The Knoxville Museum of Art’s Thorne Rooms are among America’s most well-known miniature diorama groups. The Thorne Rooms were developed in the 1930s and 40s by Mrs. James Ward Thorne, Chicago, IL, who loved dollhouses as a child. After extensive travels in Europe where she collected miniature furniture and accessories, Mrs. Thorne had over two dozen miniature rooms created by cabinetmakers from her own drawings. They were made in a scale of one inch to one foot. She painted and stained woodwork, papered walls, and made textiles for the rooms. The rooms were displayed in several World’s Fairs. In 1933–1934 they were displayed at Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition. In 1939 they traveled to San Francisco’s Golden Gate International Exposition, and in 1940 they were displayed at the New York World’s Fair.
Later, Mrs. Thorne created 29 more rooms, copying Europe’s castles, museums, and historic homes. She commissioned architects to create historically accurate settings and had textiles and carpets made by the Needlework Guild of Chicago. The rooms, tracing English and French style 1500–1920, were exhibited in 1937 at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1942 Mrs. Thorne gave a third and final group of Thorne Rooms to the Art Institute. Those 37 rooms offered a view of American History, 1675–1940.
In 1962, IBM, which had purchased 29 rooms, gave nine of the original Thorne Rooms to Knoxville’s Dulin Gallery of Art, this museum’s predecessor. Our rooms contain many of the miniature objects Mrs. Thorne collected during her youth and on her travels. The Knoxville Museum of Art is one of five museums in the country to have a collection of Thorne Rooms.
The restoration of the Thorne Rooms has been made possible by the generous support of Sherri Lee, in honor of Mrs. McAfee Lee.