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Photos by Clarissa Villondo
Words by Kaylee Dugan

The National Building Museum kills it every summer. For the past few years, they’ve been giving us so many good reasons to come back and re-explore one of our favorite museums. From the BIG Maze to THE BEACH, they’ve consistently outdone themselves, and while everyone is looking forward to ICEBERGS, we have another good reason why you need to head over to 5th and H as soon as you possibly can.

This one is just a little smaller in scale…

Doll Houses at National Building MuseumDoll Houses at National Building Museum

Opening May 20, and making its first (and only) debut in the United States, Small Stories: At Home in a Dollhouse, comes to the District all the way from the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood in LondonThe exhibit, which is comprised of 12 different British dollhouses ranging from the 17th century to the turn of the millennium, aims to explore how dollhouses reflect the domestic lives of Britons, not only from a style and design perspective, but also from a socially and economically.

Of course, the National Building Museum added their own twist to the exhibit. They asked 24 artists, designers, and architects to craft their own dollhouse sized “dream rooms.” Rooms range from the abstract to the obvious, one uses 3D printing to explore the monsters that lurk just outside our subconscious, while another recreates the “cupboard under the stairs” from Harry Potter.

Doll Houses at National Building MuseumDoll Houses at National Building Museum

Both the Dream Rooms and the dollhouses feel wildly personal, as if you’re taking a step quite literally into another ones home, but the craftsmanship and utterly unique nature of each one makes it easy to waste a good deal of time gawking at all the little details. Just try not to get sucked into any of them. This just might be the most haunted exhibition in D.C.

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