Elgin Park – scenes from a small town of the 50s

Elgin Park from Animal on Vimeo.

The images look realistic like scenes from a small town of the 50s in the United States. But they are not, because the locations are taken from the imagination of the diorama artist Michael Paul Smith. He calls them „Elgin Park“. You won´t find this town on the map, because it was fully born and raised all the memories of Smith. Smith developed his very own town even with a specially-designed street map.

Elgin Park from Animal on Vimeo.


Michael Paul Smith is a model maker and photographer. He designs his scenes by real examples from the 20s up 50s. Every miniature detail is individually build by him. Whether it’s the small grocery shop on the corner or the Art Deco veranda from the wooden House. Michael Paul Smith continues to develop every detail absolutely to scale with his skill as a model maker and also ensures that the corresponding structures look realistic. Furniture, dishes, books, frames, boxes or telephone poles – Smith owns a collection of thousands of small props which he rebuilt over the years. So, dine-inn restaurants, shops, laundries and junkyards en miniature are suddenly becoming alive. And always with a corresponding model vehicle. Sometimes Smith is working four months on a project.

He places the dioramas in a way into the nature or in front of real buildings, that the miniature world completely merges with reality. A model car in front of a house – in the background a real House… ending up in a pictures that portrays a journey into the past. Every picture tells a story, or a very specific moment. The pictures should stimulate the imagination of the viewer. But Michael Paul Smith also wants to document the twentieth century with his project.

PHOTOS: ©Michael Paul Smith