Madelyn Cook: A Retrospective is a temporary exhibit at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures featuring a dozen pieces created by and spanning the career of renowned miniature artist Madelyn Cook. The exhibit will be open from April 1, 2014 through June 1, 2014. This is exhibit is included with museum admission or free for members.
The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures is the beneficiary of twelve miniatures spanning Madelyn Cook's career as a miniature craftsperson extraordinaire. Madelyn gravitated to the "inch scale hobby" in the early 1970s, when she immersed herself for three decades in pursuit of perfection in miniature. Skills developed through hobbies like woodworking, sculpture, jewelry making and needlecrafts enabled Cook to develop the proficiency needed to create incredible miniature works of art. "Miniatures were a part of me," she states. "I am grateful to the friends, family and teachers who critiqued and supported my play time." What Cook humbly refers to as "play time" might more truly be termed serious fun, for this miniature artist wasn't dabbling in the dollhouse hobby. She set standards for herself and the craft that led to the creation of miniatures worthy of the title fine art.
Below are details of each of the twelve miniature in the exhibit. Click on a thumbnail to open the slideshow for a little glimpse of Cook's artistry.
Born and raised in the Chicago area, Madelyn Cook grew up with miniatures in the form of a German Christmas display called A Christmas Garden. Laid out by her grandparents under two Christmas trees, this impressive display featured nine hundred small figures, numerous buildings and mechanical items that fascinated and captivated the young Madelyn's imagination. The magnificence of the Christmas display set a standard of quality which Cook sought to achieve when she ventured into the hobby of miniatures.
From the early 1970s to the close of the 20th century, Madelyn Cook worked in the 1:12 and quarter inch scales creating furniture, accessories, roomboxes and fine-scale miniature dollhouses. The rapid growth of experiences with miniatures led to her writing, designing and teaching. Her work has been featured in all the major miniature magazines and several books. For example, she wrote the column Master of Disguise and designed plans for The Scale Cabinetmaker for five years. She also designed plans for Nutshell News for seven years and contributed articles to the Miniature Collector. Cook taught every year at the College of Miniature Knowledge in Sacramento and worked for interior designers, appeared on TV and spoke on the subject of miniatures throughout the country. Her rooms have gone on loan to the National Geographic Society Museum in Washington, DC and the Fullerton Museum in Southern California. The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures is the beneficiary of twelve miniatures bestowed by the artist between 2011 and 2013.