The KSB Miniatures Collection includes several exclusive exhibits that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world. Many are completely decorated houses filled with period-specific furnishings, art works, functional items, and one-of-a-kind fine art miniatures that are exact replicas of the rare originals. Exhibits change throughout the year and are often decorated for the holidays. The exhibits below are a sampling of major pieces in the KSB Miniatures Collection.

Spencer House

Spencer House by Mulvany & Rogers

Spencer House is the ancestral home of Lady Diana, Princess of Wales. Earl John Spencer had the aristocratic townhome built in London in the mid-1700s for his wife, Georgina, as a tribute to their love and happy marriage. It was conceived as a showcase of classical design with the first floor reflecting Roman style, the middle floor Greek influence, and the top level Italian style.

The Spencer House in miniature features eight of the nine state rooms that are open to the public in England. All of the ceilings were hand carved and painted using 180 sheets of gold gilt. The carpets were hand made on real looms and were produced with 1300 knots per square inch. The desk in the Ante Room is an exact replica in one-twelfth-scale, as are many of the art objects in gold, silver, and porcelain, including the miniature oil paintings.

Click here to see a video on Spencer House.

The Russell Theatre

Russell Theatre interior by Ashby & Jedd

“What the Roxy is to New York, the Russell will be to Maysville.” That is what Colonel J.B. Russell said when he built Maysville’s iconic theater in 1929. It was built in Spanish architectural style with the interior featuring balconies, busts, and ornamental features to create a mood of make-believe and escape. Its design classified it as an atmospheric theater, and today it is one of only a few remaining in the United States.

The Russell Theatre made national headlines in 1953 when Maysville’s own Rosemary Clooney chose the Russell to premiere her first movie, The Stars Are Singing. Clooney chose to sit with her best friend from childhood who was African-American, even though the theater was segregated. The theatre in miniature was created to appear as it did during that time. The exterior of the miniature Russell Theatre, composed of 11,000 hand cut bricks, was completed in 2009. Its interior debuted in 2014.

The Fleece Inn

The Fleece Inn by the late Pam Throop

The Fleece Inn, built during the 15th century in Bretforton, England, is considered an architectural treasure in the United Kingdom. The half-timbered building, which has remained mostly undisturbed since the mid-1600s, represents six centuries of Cotswold history. The last private owner, Lola Taplin, a direct descendent of the man who built the inn,  bequeathed the building to The National Trust after her death in 1977, making it the first pub in the country to be owned by the charity.

The Fleece Inn holds special memories for Kaye Browning. She and her husband, Louis, spent their 27th wedding anniversary in the upper right room of the inn. The miniature depicts Lola talking with pub patrons and a man and a dog with a pheasant represent the Browning’s dog, Gentry, and Mr. Browning’s love of pheasant shooting in England and Scotland.

The Bethel Baptist Church

Bethel Baptist Church

The Bethel Baptist Church in Maysville, Kentucky, was organized in 1844 by a slave, Rev. Elisha Green. In 1848, he was able to buy his freedom and that of his family when a group of white men from the Baptist Church in Mason County loaned him $850 to do so. He served as pastor for the church more than fifty years.

The one-twelfth-scale miniature of the Bethel Baptist Church depicts the church as it was on West 4th Street before it burned to the ground in 1977. Bricks from the original building were hand cut and mortared to create the miniature which offers a glimpse into a historic building in Maysville’s past. The Bethel Baptist Church was later rebuilt at its current location on Forest Avenue.

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KSB Miniatures Collection at The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center
215 Sutton Street, Maysville, Kentucky 41056 | 606-564-5865 | www.kygmc.org

Kentucky Gateway Museum Center