Press - Miniature Museum

Diamonds are Forever Travels from The Museum of Ventura County to The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures in January 2015

Tucson, Ariz—December 15, 2014- A new temporary exhibit, Diamonds are Forever: The Incredible Journeys of World-Famous Diamonds & the People Who Owned Them, will be traveling from the Museum of Ventura County to be exhibited at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures in Tucson, Arizona from January 27 through April 19, 2015.

CatherinetheGreatwithOrlov web

Catherine the Great with the Orlov diamond. Image courtesy of the Museum of Ventura County. Other images available via the media contact below.

Diamonds are Forever: The Incredible Journeys of World-Famous Diamonds & the People Who Owned Them, provides the unique opportunity to experience the dazzling beauty of world-famous diamonds while tracing their circuitous journeys from the mines of present-day India to the hands of the rich and famous across Europe and the United States. These stories are told through 18 quarter-life-size Historical Figures, including Catherine the Great, Napoleon, Louis XIV and the Shah Jahan, and 10 replica diamonds including the Hope, the French Blue and the Orlov.

The exhibition is the result of a unique collaboration between artists George S. Stuart of Ojai, California, and Scott Sucher of Tijeras, New Mexico. Stuart creates quarter-life-size figures capturing the essence of history’s most famous and infamous personalities. To date, he has created more than 400 Historical Figures, which have been exhibited at museums across the country– including the Smithsonian. Sucher has dedicated his life to the documentation and replication of famous historical diamonds. His full-scale replicas, made from cubic zirconia, have been exhibited world-wide and earned him high praise from experts within the gem and jewelry industry.

This exhibit was developed and produced by the Museum of Ventura County. This is the only Arizona engagement scheduled to date. Click here for more information about this exhibit >>


Media Inquiries Contact:
Gentry Spronken, Director of Marketing & Communications at 520-881-0606 ext. 104 or by email



The Mini Museum Announces Free Admission in Celebration of its 5th Anniversary during September 2014

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures will be celebrating its fifth anniversary by offering free admission and twenty-percent off new memberships during the month of September 2014. General admission to the Museum is regularly nine dollars.

The Mini Museum opened its doors to the public on September 1, 2009. Since opening, more than 190,000 people have visited the museum.

The Museum has received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and is currently ranked in the top 10 attractions in Tucson on The Official Best of Arizona TV Series awarded the Museum Best Unique Museum Experience in 2013 and The Chicago Tribune has claimed; “The magic of this place cannot be overstated.”

“We are overwhelmed with the positive feedback from visitors since opening. We wanted to celebrate by providing an opportunity for everyone to experience the delight of miniatures.” says The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures founder Patricia Arnell.

“By opening our doors free of charge for an entire month we hope that everyone will have the opportunity to discover and enjoy the truly unique arts experience we have to offer. Ticket revenue is only one aspect of what a museum needs to thrive in a dynamic community. We hope that by eliminating this barrier, we will engage many of our visitors and well-wishers to invest in a deeper commitment to the Museum and its mission by becoming members, by shopping in our Museum Store and by becoming donors who wish to support the valuable work we do in education and outstanding exhibits.” says Nina Daldrup, Executive Director at the Museum.

For more information about visiting the museum in September, please click here.


The History Gallery

Fire! A Glimpse of Fire History in Miniature Opens at The Mini Museum August 26th.

Tucson, Arizona—August 5, 2014— A new temporary exhibit called Fire! A Glimpse of Fire History in Miniature will be the open at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures from August 26, 2014 through November 2, 2014.

The exhibit will include a 1:32 scale replica of the Chicago Water Tower, one of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871,  created by Tucson artist Tom Bulow; as well as well as several scratch-built scale replica fire apparatus, engines and structures created by artists John A. Ackerman and Tom Showers.

Not only dedicated to their craft, each of these artists is also a subject-matter expert, having served in one facet or another in fire services. Together, these two dozen miniatures showcase the variety of fire fighting equipment developed during the 20th century to fight both municipal and wildfires.

For more information about The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures click here.

1964 Morita/Nissan Squad Pump, Tom Showers, 1964

1964 Morita/Nissan Squad Pump, Tom Showers, 1964

1964 Morita/Nissan Squad Pump, Tom Showers, 1964



Media Inquiries, please contact:
Gentry SpronkenDirector of Marketing and Communications
520-881-0606 ext. 104 or by email

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures to Participate in Blue Star Museums 2014

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures is one of more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense

Tucson, Arizona- May 21, 2014 – Today The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move. The complete list of participating museums is available at‐star‐museums.

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures is happy to be participating in the program again this year and will begin free admisison to active-duty miliaty personnel and their families beginning on Saturday, May 24, 2014 through Sunday, August 31, 2014. For a list of frequently asked questions about this program, please click here.

“As we kick off our fifth year of Blue Star Museums, more museums than ever are part of this military appreciation program,” said NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa. “Together with Blue Star Families and more than 2,000 museums, we are proud to help connect military families with the cultural resources in their communities.”

“Blue Star Museums has grown into a nationally recognized program that service members and their families look forward to each year,” said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth‐Douquet. “It helps bring our local military and civilian communities together, and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns. We are thrilled with the continued growth of the program and the unparalleled opportunities it offers.”

This year, more than 2,000 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative. Museums are welcome to join Blue Star Museums throughout the summer. The effort to recruit museums has involved partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, and the Association of Science‐Technology Centers. This year’s Blue Star Museums represent not just fine arts museums, but also science museums, history museums, nature centers, and dozens of children’s museums. Among this year’s new participants are the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, The Thinkery children’s museum in Austin, Texas, the Mass Audubon Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, Massachusetts, and Henricus Historical Park in Chester, Virginia.

About Blue Star Museums
Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 26, 2014 through Labor Day, September 1, 2014.

The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173‐1 ID card, which includes active duty U.S. military ‐ Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps ‐ and up to five family members. Some special or limited‐time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program. For questions on particular exhibits or museums, please contact the museum directly. To find participating museums and plan your trip, visit‐star‐museums.

All summer long, Blue Star Museums will share stories through social media. Follow Blue Star Museums on Twitter @NEAarts and @BlueStarFamily, #BlueStarMuse, on Facebook, and read the NEA Art Works blog for weekly stories on participating museums and exhibits.

Museums that wish to participate in Blue Star Museums may contact, or Wendy Clark at 202‐682‐5451.

This is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families. Other NEA programs for the military have included the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.

About The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures
The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, located in Tucson, Arizona is a 15,560 square foot, state-of-the-art museum displaying an entertaining and interactive array of antique and contemporary miniatures as well as enchanting artifacts.

This Tucson museum styles itself as a miniature time machine, by which the visitor sets off on a self-guided tour through different lands and times both real and imagined. Over 275 miniature houses, room boxes and enchanting collectibles  are part of the extraordinary collection in this educational and magical environment, appealing to visitors of all ages, interests and talents.

About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering military families. With our partners, Blue Star Families hosts a robust array of morale and empowerment programs, including Books on Bases, Blue Star Museums, Operation Honor Corps, Blue Star Careers and Operation Appreciation. Blue Star Families also works directly with the Department of Defense and senior members of local, State and Federal government to bring the most important military family issues to light. Working in concert with fellow nonprofits, community advocates, and public officials, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable. Our worldwide membership includes military spouses, children, parents, and friends, as well as service members, veterans and civilians. To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit

About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at


Daily Docent-led Tours- New Time

Did you know The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures offers a daily docent-led highlights tour? Get the inside scoop about our miniatures and the museum from one of our trained docents. Tours last approximately 45 minutes to an hour. These tours do not require a reservation and are included with museum admission.

We offer a standing highlights tour Tuesday-Friday and Sunday at 1pm. On Saturdays we offer two tours; one at 11:30am and another at 2:00pm.

Of course, if you have 8 or more people, you can also book your own Group Tour. We offer discounted admission with advanced booking. Click here for details.

Docent-led Tours

Madelyn Cook: A Retrospective Opens at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures on April 1st

A new temporary exhibit, Madelyn Cook: A Retrospective, will be open from April 1, 2014 through June 1, 2014 at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures in Tucson, Arizona. The exhibit will feature a dozen miniatures created by renowned miniature artist Madelyn Cook over the course of her career.

From the early 1970s to the end of the 20th century, Madelyn Cook worked in the 1:12 scale (one inch represents one foot) and quarter scale (one quarter of an inch represents one foot) creating furniture accessories, roomboxes and fine-scale miniature dollhouses.

La Petit Lagniappe web

La Petit Lagniappe is a 19-room quarter scale mansion featuring over 210 pieces of period furniture. Its entire footprint is only 22 inches square. Photo by Amy Haskell.

The inspirations behind the miniatures in this exhibit are as varied as fairytale literature, childhood Christmas memories and a Chinese garden from Shanghai’s Old Town. The one thing that they all have in common is Cook’s penchant for storytelling, exacting research and attention to detail. The extraordinary craftsmanship will be evident in the miniatures on display. However, this exhibit will also give the viewer a glimpse into the artist’s process through the display of personal notes, sketches and photographs.

Throughout her career, Cook taught classes, spoke at engagements across the country and contributed to all of the major miniature magazines. Madelyn Cook and her late husband Jim hailed from California and made Tucson their home later in life. They were deeply involved with the Tucson Garden Railway Society since its inception in 1994. Mrs. Cook currently resides in Maine.

Of the twelve miniatures in this exhibit, six are on permanent display at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures and three have never been exhibited. This exhibit is included with museum admission or free for museum members.


Media inquiries please contact:
Gentry Spronken, Director of Marketing and Communications
520-881-0606 or by email


The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures Launches a Program to Provide Free Educational Field Trips.

January 23, 2014- Tucson, Arizona

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures has launched a new program called Sizing Up My World to provide free museum field trips coupled with outreach presentations to youth in Pima County.

Betsy Apking with Bliss Houses

Betsy Apking with Bliss Houses

Sizing Up My World is the brainchild of The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures’ Vegrandis 2013 Event Chair, Betsy Apking. Vegrandis is the Museum’s annual fundraiser, which in 2013 raised the funds necessary to establish the program. Apking fondly recalled the school field trips to the state capital from her childhood and recognized the tragedy of the decline of funds available for such educational and inspiring field trips for today’s youth.

A new study titled The Educational Value of Field Trips indicates that museum visits enable students to improve their critical thinking skills, develop historical empathy and show increased tolerance. Sometimes a school field trip is the only opportunity a child has to visit a museum, accessing our cultural heritage and reaping these benefits. In fact, the study demonstrates that these gains are much larger for students from disadvantaged groups. Unfortunately, educational field trips are being cut from many school programs due to budget constraints and rigorous testing standards.

Exploring Yu Yuan

Exploring Yu Yuan

Sizing Up My World will address both of these issues by providing mini grants for transportation, admission and outreach presentations to schools and family service providers. The tours and presentations are developed to support classroom objectives in the Arizona Common Core standards in Math, English, Language Arts and Social Studies. The museum’s grants review staff will award these mini grants until funds are depleted. Educators and family service providers will need to apply online at least four weeks before their anticipated visit.

Evaluation of the program and its impact on children and families in Pima County will be ongoing. Representatives from the Museum hope community members will recognize the value of the program and continue to make contributions to it, so that ultimately every child in Pima County will have this opportunity. For more information about this program, or to make a donation, please visit


See what children are saying


Media Inquiries Contact:
Gentry Spronken, Director of Marketing & Communications at 520-881-0606 ext. 104 or by email

Program Inquiries Contact:
Lisa Hastreiter-Lamb, Director of Education at 520-881-0606 ext. 105 or by email


The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures Awarded Best Unique Museum Experience in Arizona

December 27, 2103–Tucson, AZ

Official Best Of TV Series, the producer of The Official Best of Arizona Television Show, awarded The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures of Tucson, Arizona the Official Best Unique Museum Experience Award for 2013. The half hour show features the top destinations, attractions and top performing businesses in a variety of categories.

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures was chosen for this year’s recognition because of high customer satisfaction rates and reviews across the board, including 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor and 4 star review on Yelp.

The show will air on the Discovery Channel nationwide on Christmas morning, 2013, at 7:00am MST (some carriers 6am). It will also air on KPHO (CBS) in Phoenix at 10am on Saturday, December 28, 2013 and in Tucson on KOLD (CBS) at 4pm.


A New Exhibit, Netsuke and Diminutive Carvings from Japan, Opens at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures on September 24, 2013

Click here to read the 09.20.13 press release.

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures Celebrates its 4th Anniversary with Free Admission on September 1st

Click here to read the 08.15.13 press release.