Behind the Scenes Dollhouse Tour: The Elizabeth Johnston Prime Dollhouse Collection, Exhibition at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts

Dec 17th, 2015Press Release from Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts

BETHLEHEM, PA – From January 17 to June 26, Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites invites guests to experience an intimate, backstage look at one of the largest dollhouse collections in the nation.

Behind the Scenes Dollhouse Tour: The Elizabeth Johnston Prime Dollhouse Collection boasts 44 antique buildings, including dollhouse, stores, stables, mansions, and verandas, and over 6,000 tiny pieces of dolls, furniture, paintings, animals, rugs, dishes, chandeliers, and more, which Elizabeth Johnston Prime donated in 2007.

Elizabeth Johnston Prime’s family roots trace back to the Moravian founders of Bethlehem in the mid-18th century as well as the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, where her grandfather served as a senior vice-president and later as mayor of our city.

She once said, “The dollhouses, furniture, and dolls I have acquired have survived for generations because they are loved.  I feel this tug from the generations: from the talented hands of the artisans who have created the pieces, to the excited hands of the children opening the packages containing the pieces.  I am the next set of hands to touch, care, and love these pieces.”

Before she died, Mrs. Prime asked the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts and Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites to be the next set of loving hands to care for this collection.

The Elizabeth Johnston Prime Dollhouse Collection will showcase architecture, clothing, and furniture styles that span across one hundred years, from the 1830s to the 1930s, as well as creations from such notable dollhouse designers as Moritz Gottschalk and Christian Hacker.

To top it off, visitors who opt for this tour will receive a chance to see inside the Collection Resource Center, an offer no other tour currently provides.

This collection will be on display at 2pm every third Sunday, starting from January 17. Dates are as follows: January 17, February 21, March 20, April 17, May 15, and June 19.

A special tour will be held on Sunday, February 12, where guests will not only see the inside of the Collection Resource Center but have an exclusive meet with the curator of the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, Lindsey Jancay. Admission for this limited event is $25, and visitors must RSVP with Lindsey Jancay.

Admission to the Behind the Scenes: The Elizabeth Johnston Prime Dollhouse Collection at the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts is $20 for adults. For more information or questions regarding the tour, please contact Lindsey Jancay at gro.mehelhtebcirotsihnull@yacnajl or 610-868-6868 ext. 63. The Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts is located at 427 N. New Street, Bethlehem.

All proceeds from this event help Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites to maintain 20 historic landmarks in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Historic Bethlehem is a not-for-profit institution that brings to life three centuries of American history. Historic Bethlehem tells the story of a small town of great influence, home to some of our nation’s earliest settlers, to America’s first municipal water pumping system, and to one of the world’s greatest industrial companies. Historic Bethlehem is located in Eastern Pennsylvania, only a 1.5 hour drive from Philadelphia to the north and 2 hours west of New York City. Historic Bethlehem is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and is distinguished as a National Historic Landmark District for Historic Moravian Bethlehem.

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