Master miniaturist Dan Ohlmann made his first collection of miniature furniture in 1985 and gained fame shortly after, thanks to an hyper-realistic version of the famous Parisian restaurant Maxim’s. His success started a career: he is now not only an expert creator of miniatures but also the curator of one of the world’s most amazing miniature collections.
What began as a studio to create miniatures, called Palais de la Miniature (miniature palace), expanded into a collection of hundreds of miniatures. Since 2005, it has become an actual museum, housed in a gorgeous historic building in Lyon, the 16th century Maison des Avocats (lawyers’ house)—a UNESCO heritage site and in itself worth a visit.
The Musée Miniature et Cinéma, which hosts Ohlmann’s full collection as well as a large collection of special effect props for movies, is not simply offering visitors unbelievably realistic miniature rooms and scenes created by several artists: on the second floor, you can also watch the artists at work, as they create the miniatures.
Contrary to popular belief, these miniatures, which are a 10th or a 12th of the original size, are not used to shoot movie scenes, according to Valérie Chaix, a spokesperson for the museum.
“They should be considered works of art,” Chaix told Quartz.