“Collecting and celebrating miniatures”
Who doesn’t love teeny-tiny things?! The Mini Time Machine Museum in Tucson, Arizona specializes in the smallest (and most adorable) historical dioramas, each with its own amazingly detailed story to tell. The museum itself, which isn’t tiny at all, was created by Patricia and Walker Arnell, lovers of all things little. The idea behind the Mini Time Machine Museum came from the notion that “ ... a visitor would be seemingly transported to different eras by the stories and history of the pieces in the collection”. They were right, and with the help of a crew of designers, gadgeteers, and enthusiasts, the MTMM was born. Today the museum has over 274 permanent miniature displays, spread-out across the museum’s three exhibits. There's the “Enchanted Realm”, which focuses less on the historical and more on the fantastical. There you'll find displays complete with woodland creatures, fairy castles, witches, and magical villages. Guests can also visit “Exploring the Worlds”, which is dedicated to miniatures depicting moments in every-day life throughout the years. And last but not least is the "History Gallery”, offering visitors atiny glimpse of life during the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century. The MTMM hosts a rotating cast of awesome exhibits, which in the past have included rare artifacts like Netsuke carvings from Japan, and even the oldest known historical diorama in America, which you can still see at the museum today. If you’re taking an Arizona road trip this spring, the The Mini Time Machine Museum is absolutely worth a detour, because if you’re anything like me, you’ll easily spend an afternoon lost in the strange, wonderful little doll houses, displays, and dioramas. -Roadtrippers The Mini Time Machine was created from the imagination and dedication of Founders, Patricia and Walter Arnell. Pat’s fondness for miniatures began in the 1930’s, when as a young girl she received her first miniatures- a set of Strombecker wooden dollhouse furniture. It wasn’t until the Arnells moved to Tucson in 1979 that Pat began collecting in earnest. The Arnell’s became very active in the miniature community becoming recognized members and supporters of important organizations such as NAME (National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) and IGMA (International Guild of Miniature Artisans).The collection grew and the Arnells, dreamed of a way to share it with more people. They envisioned an interactive space where the entertaining and educational aspects of the collection could be enjoyed by everyone- a place that would be enchanting, magical and provide a rich sensory experience. The concept of “the mini time machine” was born out of the notion that a visitor would be seemingly transported to different eras by the stories and history of the pieces in the collection. The design and building of the museum was a huge collaborative effort. Swaim Associates Architects in Tucson, Arizona was chosen as the architect for the project. The exhibit design was carried out by Claro Creative Studios, a team of designers, gadgeteers and entertainment enthusiasts based out of Glendale, California. Construction of the project spanned nearly two years.
Whoa! My wife and I stumbled on this place during a recent trip to Tucson and we were BLOWN AWAY!
You literally walk through time as you travel by the meticulously crafted miniature homes and structures from all sorts of times and places.
Words cannot truly capture the love and care that these artists put into their miniatures - if something is made of marble or brick in real life, these tiny artists will go to great lengths to figure out a tiny equivalent that looks and feels real.
I've never seen anything quite like this and would encourage anyone travelling the Tucson area to check it out!
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Mini-Time Machine Museum Of Miniatures
- Tue - Sat: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
- Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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