Tudor Place: An Introduction

The Secret Tudor Place dollhouse, with interior lights on and exterior exhibit room lights off.

Tudor Place dollhouse, with internal lighting

Born in 1915 in Boston, Massachusetts, Tasha Tudor attended the Boston Museum Fine Arts School, where she began honing her signature illustration style. She married Thomas McCready, Jr. in 1938, bearing four children and raising her family on a series of homesteads in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont. A fascinating facet of Tudor's life and work is her deep commitment to the lifestyle of the early Victorians, and her world reflected her preferences in every aspect of her life. She spun, wove, and sewed her own clothes, grew much of her own produce, and forewent many modern conveniences such as electric washing machines, choosing instead to wash clothing by hand. 

It may be unsurprising, then, to find the nostalgia for 19th-century life reflected in Tudor's illustrations and in the realia she produced as well. Tudor began illustrating children's books in 1938, starting with her own Pumpkin Moonshine. She went on to illustrate such beloved classics as Little Women, The Secret Garden, and many, many others. She also designed and had built a 19-foot-long dollhouse to fill with miniature creations, both from her own hands and the hands of local artisans. 

Though the dollhouse featured here did not belong to Tasha Tudor, many of the items contained within the house were made by Tudor or her woodworker son, Seth, or they were donated by Tudor as appropriate additions to the house. Tudor's business partner, Harry Davis, designed the house in 1999, as a sort of homage to Tudor's work, her earliest adult home, and her own love of dollhouses and all things miniature. He called it Tudor Place and painstakingly filled it with many rare miniature items.