Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Monday, November 30, 2009

Law & Order: Special Dollhouse Unit

Long before Lenny Briscoe & Quincy M.E were cracking tough cases, millionaire heiress and New England socialite Frances Glessner Lee was teaching police officers around the country how to play with dolls.  Ms. Glessner Lee was very serious about her doll houses, deadly serious - as you can see above. Realizing that there was no way for students in the then nascent field of  forensic investigation to gain practical experience interpreting crime scenes, Ms. Glessner Lee combined her lifelong love of miniatures and her considerable talent, wealth and drive to construct a series of elaborately detailed, dollhouse dioramas depicting real life crime scenes.  Her attention to detail was staggeringly gruesome, everything was depicted exactly as it had been in real life, and most of the scenes are deeply disturbing.  As gruesome as these depictions are, you can't help mentally trying to decipher the events leading up to the scene, and that is what makes these models such a fantastic teaching tool. Even today, in the age of virtual reality, many of these models are still in use, and a new generation of modelers have been inspired by her work.  Photographer Corinne May Botz has written a fascinating book about Ms Glessner Lee and her unusual dollhouses that I highly recommend.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Suddenly my Christmas shopping dilemma is resolved. Thanks Dave.