The kids and I made the trip out to Syracuse, and stopped in at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST). We encountered a surprise treat at the museum: Stan Munro’s Toothpick City II. Wow! We walked in to the main arena to see a vast display of the most incredible works of art I’ve seen! All done with toothpicks and Elmer’s glue!
The Leaning Tower of Pisa. I love this one most of all.
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
And London Tower Bridge!
The platform is about 25′ by 30′, and the toothpick structures are all built to a 1:164 scale. Some of the toothpicks towers and temples are over 16 feet high. Others are under a foot high. Since the towers and temples are all built in proportion to each other, seeing them all next to each other is stunning. And Stan has done an incredible job, with amazing attention to detail.
This is a closeup of the Aspire Tower of Qatar. It’s huge!
Stan was working on more structures at the MOST while we ooo’ed and ahh’ed. So we got a chance to talk to him and ask him how he got started on this project. I found out he is a wacky radio guy! I used to be one, too! (Well, I was a wacky radio girl– I had my own morning show on a small station in the Southern Tier, near Binghamton, NY). Stan said he was in-between jobs, working on his toothpicking hobby, when he was asked to display some of his work. The reception was enthusiastic, and demand became so high that Stan was soon earning a living, doing what he loves!
Stan has a website, ToothpickCity.com, which is really fun to peruse. It has a great gallery of his work (including structures he built for Toothpick City I, permanently on display in Spain), and a humorous biography:
When Stan Munro started Toothpick City I in 2003, he convinced his wife that this might be an actual job. Whether she really believed him, or just reveled at the thought of a husband spending all his time in the basement, she supported him. She helped him in every way imaginable, and when Toothpick City sold in 2005, she helped him spend the money.
Here are more photos I took. Perhaps some of you will recognize the structures.
You can see many more photos at Stan’s Gallery at the website. He’s done most of the world’s skyscrapers, too, including the Chrysler Building, Pyramid at Giza, the Petronas Towers, the Sydney Opera House, Taipei 101, the Taj Mahal, and more. Really amazing!
Plus, Stan gave me his business card. How cool is that?!
If you are interested in giving Stan some suggestions for future projects he can do, he’s happy to take them. We suggested the Pantheon of Rome, and he said he has just started work on it!