Here is a list of public collections of dollhouses and miniatures in the Washington area. This material was adapted by Esther Robertson from a list compiled by Miniature Collector magazine.
* National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Constitution Avenue at 14th Street NW, (202) 357-1300. Two dollhouses are on display. The larger is the 23-room Dolls' House, the lifelong project of amateur collector Faith Bradford. Bradford gave the house and her family of 19 dolls and 20 pets to the Smithsonian in 1951. The dolls and their house represent an affluent American lifestyle before World War I. The second display is the Cleveland dollhouse, made for the children of President Grover Cleveland by a White House gardener during Cleveland's second administration (1893-97). The 19th-century house, which resembles the White House with its elegant portico, contains five rooms and measures 3 feet by 2 feet.
* Washington Dolls' House and Toy Museum, 5236 44th St. NW, (202) 244-0024. The Washington Dolls' House and Toy Museum is the culmination of nearly four decades of collecting on the part of Flora Gill Jacobs. The museum focuses on American dollhouses and miniatures, and includes a sales shop carrying miniatures by contemporary artists (see Help, page 1). Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children. Special rates for groups of 12 or more.
* Museum of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1776 D St. NW, (202) 628-1776. The DAR museum includes a dollhouse made by the Children of the American Revolution in the early 1950s. The museum has a collection of late 19th and early 20th-century dolls. Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free.
* Arlington Historical Society Museum, Arlington Ridge Road, Arlington, Va., (703) 528-1548. The museum is housed in an old school building. Its Tootsietoy dollhouse, complete with its original furnishings, dates from around 1927. The museum also has a small exhibit of late 19th-century dolls. Open to the public Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m., or by special appointment arranged through Cathy Holt, the museum curator, at the number listed above. Admission is free.
* The Lee-Fendall House, 429 N. Washington St., Alexandria, Va., (703) 548-1789. The Lee-Fendall House includes an entire room of antique dollhouses and furnishings. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $1.50.
* Woodlawn Plantation, 9000 Richmond Highway, Mount Vernon, Va., (703) 557-7881. Upstairs in the children's bedroom is an eight-room dollhouse built around 1848. Today, it is furnished with both American and European Victorian miniatures and is populated with antique dolls. Also at Woodlawn Plantation is a "Touch and Try" room for children that contains an exact copy of the antique dollhouse, furnished with both antique and contemporary miniatures.
(This material appears with permission of the Miniature Collector magazine, Acquire Publishing Company Inc., 170 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10010.)