1985 - A miniaturist's adventure
Formerly a cabinetmaker, Museum’s Director Dan Ohlmann starts creating scale furniture in Paris in 1985. Fascinated with the Art Nouveau style, he creates in 1987 a 1/12th-scale model of the world famous Chez Maxim’s restaurant in Paris. Combining artistic talent and architectural knowledge, this hyperreal piece comes as a surprise in France. Soon, the miniaturist’s work catches the eye of the media and the general public.
Profile articles are published in mainstream publications such as “Le Nouvel Observateur” and “Le Figaro Magazine”. Dan Ohlmann is also a guest in many prime time television shows, such as “Champs Elysées”, “Tous à la Une”, “Nulle Part Ailleurs”… He realizes that he has been lucky: he is France’s first miniaturist .
In parallel, Dan Ohlmann is the art director and co-founder of the first Festival International de la Miniature, a major success with over 25,000 visitors storming the exhibition in five days. Based on this accomplishment, he launches a travelling exhibition called “The Miniatures of Dan Ohlmann” that tours in France and Europe, and as far as Japan several times. His creations are also presented in the United States during a travelling exhibition supported by France’s Ministry of Culture.
In 1989, his three trucks arrive in Lyons, France’s third largest city, for a 15-day exhibition. There, Dan Ohlmann falls in love with the city and decides to settle there for good. He opens his very own museum – the Palais de la Miniature (The Miniature Palace) – in the old historical town, and starts creating new miniatures that will enrich his collection .
1990 - Life in Lyons
For over ten years, the Palais de la Miniature exhibitions more than 1,000 miniature masterpieces from all over the world. It becomes known as an extraordinary place that people really enjoy visiting. Regularly, Dan Ohlmann organizes temporary exhibitions on a new theme that has always been a passion of his: the art of film miniatures.
In 2,000, the Groupe Grévin invites him to exhibit many of his miniature scenes at the France Miniature theme park.
2003 - An encounter that changes everything
A world-renowned Swiss collector offers to develop Dan Ohlmann’s small family-size museum into a much larger venue which would enable it to thrive internationally. An art lover, this sponsor arranges for him to set up his new museum in a 16th century historical building, the Maison des Avocats, that she owns in the old town. The edifice is listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage program.
2005 - Musée miniature et cinéma
In February 2005, the new Museum opens its doors and reveals Dan Ohlmann’s entire miniature collection, plus dozens of creations from all over the world, and a brand new permanent department devoted to the arts and techniques of film special effects.
On opening day, Dan Ohlmann expresses his most sincere gratitude to all the people and organizations – without naming them – that have allowed him to live this adventure for twenty years now: the Swiss collector who has helped him consolidate the Museum, the medias that have supported him, collaborators, artists and family members.
The only personality that he openly names is French haute couture extraordinaire Pierre Cardin. He was, in 1987, “the man who started it all”, but why should he talk about it? After all, he probably doesn’t have the answers himself…