The National Building Museum in Washington D.C. is to host a new exhibition centered on miniature building souvenirs. ‘Mini Memories: Souvenir Buildings from the David Weingarten Collection’ sees 400 miniature buildings from around the world showcased, having been donated to the museum in 2019 by architects David Weingarten and Lucia Howard along with Margaret Majua.
The pocket-sized objects are both tourist souvenir collectibles as well as a “celebration of popular architecture.” A combination of architectural wonders and more obscure yet meaningful structures, the exhibition explores “how souvenir buildings are made, how they are used, and celebrates their surprising variety.”
The 400 pieces were collected from nearly seventy countries and include the Washington Monument in Baltimore, the Manhattan skyline, an ancient temple in Guatemala, a monument to peace in Hiroshima, Japan, a Town Hall in Poland, and grain elevators in Kansas.
While not necessarily intended to be accurate models of the built world, the miniatures range from the abstract to the highly detailed, to “ the altogether make-believe.” Many of the mini buildings also have practical uses, such as coin banks, bookends, thermometers, or clocks.
“For anyone with wanderlust or nostalgia for a travel destination, we invite you to tour the world in a 1,000 square foot space with our MINI MEMORIES exhibition,” said Aileen Fuchs, president and executive director of the National Building Museum, in a statement. “We are so grateful to David Weingarten for donating this fascinating and extensive souvenir building collection that he amassed over forty years. We hope that visitors will appreciate the importance of commemorating our built world- even if it’s in miniature.”
The exhibition opens at the National Building Museum on Saturday, October 28th.
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