/21 Crime

Corinne Botz

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

“The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death” is an exploration of a
collection of eighteen miniature crime scene models that were built in
the 1940′s and 50′s by a progressive criminologist Frances Glessner
Lee (1878 – 1962). The models, which were based on actual homicides,
suicides, and accidental deaths, were created to train detectives to
assess visual evidence. The models display an astounding level of
precision and detail: shades can be raised and lowered, mice live in
the walls, stereoscopes work, whistles blow and pencils write. Botz’s
photographs highlight the models’ painstaking detail, as well as the
prominence of female victims. In addition to photographing the models,
Botz spent years researching and writing about Frances Glessner Lee.
This seven-year project culminated in an exhibition and a book The
Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death (The Monacelli Press, 2004).