I traveled to Maysville, this week, to start making plans for a NAME A-3 Region event I want to host this fall and to have held at the Gateway Museum- Kathleen Savage Browning Miniatures Collection. If you are truly one of those people who can never see enough of the best of the best in dollhouses and miniatures this is a place you must visit.
Upon my arrival, for my meeting with Lynn David, the museum's Communications and Visitor Services Director , I was informed that a new exhibit was being installed in the miniature museum.
Here are pictures of what was going on and the newspaper article about it.
When you look at the facade of the Russell Theatre, each detail jumps out at
you, the ceramic tile encasing the box office, the wrought iron handles of
the double doors, all the way up to the urns topping the east and west
towers of the buildings.
The only difference between this facade and the real facade of the historic
theater is the size of the structure; everything else is replicated exactly,
all the way down to the design of the tile floor of the vestibule.
The newest addition to the Kathleen Savage Browning Miniatures Collection at
the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center has arrived and is now available for
The Russell Theatre miniature joins two other historically significantly
buildings to Maysville's downtown: the Cox Building and the Bethel Baptist
Church, which once stood on Fourth Street.
Browning commissioned the work to add to the ever-growing collection at the
museum and work began in May 2008, by artists Allison Ashby and Steven Jedd,
who also created the Cox Building and Bethel Baptist Church.
"It should serve as an inspiration for the community to want to save the
building," Browning said, referring to the ongoing efforts of the Rescue the
Russell organization to restore the theater, which was built in 1929 by Col.
J. Barbour Russell and hosted the 1953 premier of Rosemary Clooney's movie
"The Stars are Singing."
The next phase of the project is for Ashby and Jedd to create a miniature
which will showcase the interior of the atmospheric theater and will be on
display next to the facade miniature.
Ashby referred to the building as a jigsaw puzzle, because each piece is
individually crafted and painted before being assembled in its final form.
Taking almost two years to complete, a unique feature of this miniature
compared to others in the collection is the fact more than 1,800 of the
buildings 11,000 bricks are inscribed with someone's name, making this piece
more personal to the community than others.
The purchased bricks line the east and west towers of the theatre facade,
with the names turned inward, forming a time capsule of sorts for the
In November 2009, during final work on the piece, local citizens could
purchase a brick for $1 and inscribe their name, or a family members name on
the brick, with proceeds of the fund-raiser going to KGMC and the Rescue the
"All those good wishes are in that building, it's a good addition," Ashby
said of the brick project.
And while it is difficult to see all the fine detailing of the building
while standing on East Third Street and looking upward, the 1/12 scale
miniature allows visitors to view up close the architectural details that
went into the creation of such an elaborate building, which Barbour hoped
would be "what the Roxy is to New York."
Jedd and Ashby's work highlights such small details as the six "Comedy and
Tragedy" masks; the lions faces which serve as anchors for the chains
supporting the familiar green marquee with its heart-shaped Russell Theatre
signs at each end; and the orange and blue stripe on the bases of the
building's three urns adorning the top pediment of the building.
The couple created their work from pictures of the building, as well as
studying it from the street and while only the ceramic tiles encasing the
box office are real tiles, the replicas of the building's other terra cotta
tile work looks authentic due to as many as eight layers of paint to develop
the correct color tones and then coatings of varnish to protect the pieces.
To coincide with the premier of Clooney's movie in 1953, Jedd and Ashby also
researched movies of the same time frame so that movie posters are
accurately displayed in the display cases located near the box office.
Using archived collections of local newspapers, Jedd said the movie posters
created for the Russell Theatre miniature are actual movies that once played
to Maysville audiences.
The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center is located at 215 Sutton Street,
Maysville; for information contact 606-564-5865; to learn more, go to