The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

Maxwell Ryan
Apr 17, 2007

Dollhouses as crime scenes. We were just tipped off to a remarkable book, the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. It tells the story of Frances Glessner Lee (1878–1962), who was barred from attending medical school becuase she was a woman, but went on, nevertheless, to become a pioneer in the field of scientific crime detection and to later build these miniature crime scenes...

During her 60's, Glessner combined her lifelong love for dollhouses with her profession and began building a series of eighteen miniature crime-scene dioramas for student analysis. Painstakingly detailed, each one contains a macabre story frozen in time.

Photographer Corinne May Botz, whose book this is, came across the Nutshells when we was making a video about women who collect dollhouses. In her words, the "I was entranced by the details: the porcelain doll with a broken arm in the attic, the grains of sugar on the kitchen floor...I was also riveted by the miniature corpses. Shot in bed, collapsed in the bathtub, hung in the attic and stabbed in the closet; all were eternally frozen in miniature rooms that had become their tombs."

(Via, Thanks, Jill!)

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