In the 1940’s and 50’s, criminologist Frances Glessner Lee created hand built miniature models of actual crime scenes which were used to train detectives to assess visual evidence. The depicted crimes ranged from homicides to accidental deaths to suicides and Lee’s attention to detail was phenomenal. Photographer Corinne May Botz was able to locate eighteen of Lee’s models which she photographed for her series “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death”. Each image is photographed as if the viewer is actually existing within the space, blurring the lines between what’s real and the realistically detailed representations. “The models undermine the notion of the home as a safe haven and reveal it to be a far more complex sphere. All of the models depict lower middle class interiors, and the majority of victims are women who suffered violent deaths in the home,”explains Botz.

Canbra Hodsdon