Media - 1997.112A-B - SAAM-1997.112A-B_1 - 13044
Copied Miriam Schapiro, Dollhouse, 1972, wood and mixed media, overall: 79 34828 12 in. (202.6208.321.6 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Gene Davis Memorial Fund, 1997.112A-B

Artwork Details

Not on view
overall: 79 34828 12 in. (202.6208.321.6 cm.)
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Gene Davis Memorial Fund
Mediums Description
wood and mixed media
  • Object — toy — dollhouse
Object Number

Artwork Description

Miriam Schapiro collaborated with Sherry Brody on Dollhouse as part of Womanhouse, an installation by a feminist art cooperative sponsored by the California Institute of the Arts. Womanhouse was a condemned Hollywood mansion transformed by the artists into a series of rooms dealing with different aspects of women's experience, and Dollhouse provided another level of imagination and fantasy as a set of  "rooms within rooms." The compartments are filled with bits of lace, handkerchiefs, tea towels, miniature furniture, and personal mementos that Schapiro and Brody had collected from women all over the country. Dollhouse grew out of a series of works that Schapiro called her "shrines," in which she explored her shifting identities as artist, wife, and mother. A parlor, a kitchen, a Hollywood star's bedroom, a "harem" room, a nursery, and, on the top floor, an artist's studio suggest these conflicting roles. The different symbols challenge the idea that the domestic lives of women prevent them from making "serious" art. At the same time, the tiny rooms in Dollhouse evoke cells in which the hopes of women are often imprisoned.