Insights into the Contemporary Resurgence of Miniature Painting
and Helpful Resources
- What Qualifies as a Miniature Painting?
- Modern Masters of Miniature Art in America Book by Wes (FREE! PDF 56MB from lulu.com)
- Does Size Matter in Miniature Art? (PDF 750KB - written 2011)
- The Photo-Miniature and Paint-Overs (PDF 74KB - written 2011)
- Miniature Definition Essay by Wes (PDF 130KB - written 2007)
- The Issue of Computer Art and Miniatures by Wes and Rachelle (PDF 26KB - written 2001)
- Active Miniature Art Societies
- Miniature Art Resources, Shows & Books
- Public Miniature Art Collections
The 2010 Exhibition of the Miniature Art Society of Florida at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs, FL.
What Qualifies as a Miniature Painting?
Miniature painting involves tedious and delicate brushwork that captivates under close scrutiny. The contemporary revival in miniature has been marked by a clear move towards explicitly including size and scale in the general description of the works. Partly due to the vague usage of the term miniature and in an effort to encourage and further define the direction of the art form most contemporary Societies have adopted a one-sixth scale guideline. This guide states subjects should be rendered one-sixth their life-size or smaller with some leeway given to naturally small subjects (hummingbirds, butterflies and delicate flowers). Some Societies place less stringent guidelines on subject size and limit only the image area. Framing guidelines have been loosened lately to include more molding styles and sizes as long as the overall framed work falls under the set size. Most societies encourage delicate frames matching the proportions of the artwork. (the framed artwork or sculpture should fit in an open hand)
Foremost in importance in contemporary miniature art is the highly skilled and painstaking techniques should be evident upon viewing the artwork. This is often defined as the work should hold up well under magnification. It should draw the viewer's eye deeper and deeper into itself with amazement at the gemlike details of the tiny treasure.
For more in-depth information please download:
Modern Masters of Miniature Art in America by Wes (FREE! PDF from lulu.com or Google Books)
Personal Notes from Wes & Rachelle Siegrist:
Miniature art normally fits into your pocket so it's not hard finding a place for it in any home, and for discriminating collectors who prefer to purchase originals it affords a one-of-a-kind quality at most artist's framed reproduction's price ranges.
Creating miniature art can be extremely tedious and painstaking with a narrow margin of error. We sometimes try as many as 5 times to put a highlight in the animals eye...often the paint being such a small amount dries before we can get it into the right area. Observers of our work are always amazed at how tiny and detailed the paintings actually are in real life versus what they see online or in print.
Defining the "Ideal" Miniature Today:
Although definitions and rules governing miniature art vary by Society or country most agree on the basic tenets. Below we've listed the statements of the Association of Miniature Artists guiding standards:
AMA Guidelines: While the AMA recognizes and encourages individuality, experimentation and future changes in the miniature art movement the AMA exists to provide a common ground among members especially in the context of defining their work to the public. As a member of the AMA you choose to agree with the following statements:
1. Given the historical foundation of traditional miniature art, I will strive to understand it better for the promotion, preservation and advancement of the art form.
2. Given the perplex multiple definitions of the term "miniature" today, I choose to adhere to the following tenets to describe and distinguish traditional miniature work and when possible, will adhere to them in creating, displaying, and marketing artwork as a 'miniature':
-Minute in scale vs. life-sized. For practicality following the general 1/6th scale for my work sent to formal miniature exhibitions and shows.
-Delicate and painstaking technique that withstands magnification.
-Small in format and size. 25 inches or less for surface area.
-High in quality. The work should exemplify Fine Art ~ demonstrating a mastery of composition, color, values etc.
3. Given my concern for the future of the miniature art form I will do my best to educate artists and the public about the historical and current miniature art movement, contribute work to the exhibitions and volunteer when possible with the existing societies, shows and online forums as interaction with fellow artists is key to better understanding and continued advancement of the genre. My membership in the AMA will continue as long as I work in the miniature art genre and adhere with the statements and tenets.
Please consider joining in support of the AMA. Click here for additional information.
Miniature Art Collections:
This list was compiled by Wes Siegrist, Caroline Hayes, Don Shelton - www.portrait-miniature.blogspot.com and Christine Archibald - www.archibaldminiatures.com. Thanks as well to individuals that have offered suggestions and additions and especially again to Caroline for initially organizing the list by location!
- Adelaide: Art Gallery of South Australia
- New South Wales: Art Gallery of New South Wales
- New South Wales: Heritage Collection, Nelson Meers FoundationState library of NSW, Sydney
- Perth: Art Gallery of Western Australia
- Queensland: Queensland Art Gallery
- Tasmania: State Library of Tasmania Miniatures Collection, Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Hobart
- Victoria: National Gallery of Victoria
- Vienna: National Library of Austria
- Vienna: The Albertina Collection
- Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
- Ontario: Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa
- Ontario: The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
- Quebec: The Canadian Museum of Civilization(Canadian Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Permanent Exhibit)
- Aberdeen: Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums
- Aylesbury: Waddesdon Manor
- Barnard Castle: Bowes Museum
- Bath: Holburne Museum of Art
- Birmingham: Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
- Cambridge: The Fitzwilliam Museum Miniature Portrait Collection
- Grantham: Belvoir Castle
- London: The British Museum
- London: The Gilbert Collection of enamel miniatures
- London: The National Maritime Museum
- London: The National Portrait Gallery
- London: The Victoria and Albert Museum
- London: The Wallace Collection
- Oxford: The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology
- Rotherham: Welbeck Abbey
- Windsor: The Royal Collection at Windsor Castle
- York: Castle Howard
- Chantilly: Condé Museum
- Paris: Musée de Louvre, Miniatures Collection
- Celle: The Tansey Collection of Miniatures
- Winterthur: The Winterthur Museum and Country Estate
- Winterthur: Museum Briner und Kern
- Bombay: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalya Museum
- Dublin: The Chester Beatty Library
- Dublin: Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland (The Book of Kells)
- Florence: The Uffizi Gallery (Room 24 gabinetto delle miniature: 1392 works - second largest collection in the world)
- Turin: The Civic Museum of Ancient Art in Palazzo Madama
- Mexico City: The National History Museum of Anthropology
- The Hague: Mauritshuis
- Amsterdam: House of Orange-Nassau Historic Collections Trust
- Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum
- Warsaw: The National Museum in Warsaw
- Lisbon: Museu Nacional De Arte Antiga
- St. Petersburg: The Hermitage Museum
- St. Petersburg: The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
- Edinburgh: Scottish National Portrait Gallery
- Edinburgh: Clan Leslie Charitable Trust
- Madrid: Fundación Lázaro Galdiano Museo
- Stockholm: National Museum of Fine Arts (World's largest collection of portrait miniatures @5,300)
- Geneva: The Patek Museum (Watch museum with small collection of miniature portraits)
- Winterthur: Museum Briner und Kern Miniature Portrait Collection
- Istanbul: The Topkapi Palace, Turkey
- United States of America
- California: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
- California: The Pasadena Historical Museum, Pasadena (California Society of Miniature Painters Collection, 1911-1972)
- California: Huntington Library, San Marino
- Colorado: The Berger Collection of British Art, Denver
- Connecticut: The Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (Paul Mellon Collection)
- Connecticut: The Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven
- Connecticut: Stamford Historical Society, Stamford (Anson Dickinson Collection)
- Connecticut: Litchfield Historical Society, Litchfield
- Connecticut: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford
- District of Columbia: The National Portrait Gallery, Washington
- District of Columbia: Luce Foundation Center for American Art, Washington
- District of Columbia: The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington (Eulabee Dix)
- District of Columbia: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington
- Florida: Governor's Mansion, Tallahassee
- Florida: The Stirling Commons, Dunedin (Several cases of the Miniature Art Society of Florida's Permanent Collection. Note that the entire collection is often displayed at the annual MASF Exhibition)
- Florida: The Lowe Art Museum Museum, Coral Gables
- Georgia: The Columbus Museum, Columbus
- Illinois: The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
- Indiana: The Historical Museum of the Wabash Valley, Terre Haute
- Indiana: The Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute
- Kentucky: The Speed Art Museum, Louisville
- Louisiana: Louisiana State Museum Visual Arts Collection, New Orleans
- Louisiana: New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans (The Latter-Schlesinger Collection)
- Louisiana: R.W. Norton Art Gallery, Shreveport
- Maryland: Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore
- Massachusetts: American Antiquarian Society, Worcester
- Massachusetts: Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
- Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston
- Massachusetts: The Mead Art Museum, Amherst
- Massachusetts: Memorial Hall Museum and Library, Worcester
- Massachusetts: The Peabody Essex Museum, Salem
- Massachusetts: The Worcester Art Museum, Worcester
- Michigan: Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn
- Michigan: The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit
- Missouri: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
- Missouri: The Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis
- Missouri: The St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis
- New Hampshire: New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord
- New Jersey: The Monmouth County Historical Association, Freehold
- New Jersey: The Newark Museum, Newark
- New Mexico: Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe
- New Mexico: University Art Museum, Albuquerque
- New York: The Frick Collection, New York
- New York: The Museum of the City of New York, New York
- New York: The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn
- New York: The Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany
- New York: The Henry Luce III Center for the study of American Culture, New York
- New York: The Kent-Delord House Museum, Plattsburgh
- New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
- New York: The Morgan Library & Museum, New York
- North Carolina: The Biltmore Estate, Asheville
- Ohio: The Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati
- Ohio: The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland (Edward B Greene Collection)
- Ohio: Butler Institute, Youngstown
- Ohio: The Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati
- Oklahoma: The Philbrook Museum, Tulsa
- Oklahoma: The Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa
- Oklahoma: The Woolaroc Ranch, Museum, & Wildlife Preserve, Bartlesville (Presidential Portrait Miniatures)
- Oregon: The Portland Art Museum, Portland
- Pennsylvania: Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (DuPuy Collection)
- Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia
- Pennsylvania: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
- Pennsylvania: The Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia
- Rhode Island: Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence
- South Carolina: Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston
- Texas: Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Caroline A. Ross Collection)
- Texas: The Meadows Museum of the Southern Methodist University, Dallas
- Texas: The Witte Museum, San Antonio
- Tennessee: The Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Nashville
- Utah: The Utah Museum of Fine Arts,Salt Lake City
- Virginia: Chrysler Museum at Norfolk, Norfolk
- Virginia: Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
- Virginia: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond
- Virginia: The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, Williamsburg
- Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee (Miniature collection not on general display)
Wes Siegrist discusses his book project in conjunction with other Officers of the MAA: Modern Masters of Miniature Art in America, with his fellow miniaturists at the 2010 MASF Artists' Reception.
Active Miniature Art Societies
- AMAS: The Alabama Miniature Art Society (USA)
- ASMA(NSW): Australian Society of Miniature Art, Inc.
- ASMA(Tas): Australian Society of Miniature Art (Tasmania)
- ASMA(Vic): Australian Society of Miniature Art (Victoria)
- CPA: Cider Painters of America, Pennsylvania, USA
- HS: Hilliard Society of Miniaturists, UK
- MAA: The Miniature Artists of America
- MASF: Miniature Art Society of Florida, USA
- MASSA: Miniature Art Society of South Africa
- MPSGS: The Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society of Washington, DC, USA
- RMS: The Royal Miniature Art Society, UK
- SLM: Society of Limners, Miniaturists And Calligraphers, UK
- WFM: The World Federation of Miniaturists
- Historical Overview of all Societies & Groups
Miniature Art Resources & Books
More information on Exquisite Miniatures by Wes & Rachelle Siegrist and The World of Nature in Miniature; Paintings by Wes & Rachelle Siegrist, published by us and featuring our work, may be viewed by clicking here.
Please feel free to contact us for additional information on these books below which are part of our personal library:
- American Miniatures - by Harry B. Whele
- American Portrait Miniatures - by Dale T. Johnson
- American Portrait Miniatures - by Susan E. Strickler
- American Portrait Miniatures in the Metropolitan Museum of Art - by Carrie Rebora Barratt and Lori Zabar
- The Artist's Workbook on Miniature Painting - by Joan Cornish Willies
- The Arturi Phillips Collection, A Catalogue of Portrait Miniatures - by Carmela Arturi and Roger Frederick Phillips
- British Portrait Miniatures - by Graham Reynolds
- The Catalogue of the Permanent Collection (MASF) - Doris M. Liverman and Kay Petryszak
- Dictionary of Miniature Painters 1870-1970 - by Carmela Arturi and Roger Frederick Phillips
- English and Continental Portrait Miniatures - by Pamela Pierrepont Bardo
- The English Miniature - by John Murdoch, Jim Murrell, Patrick J. Noon & Roy Strong
- Exquisite Miniatures by Wes & Rachelle Siegrist - by Wes Siegrist
- European Portrait Miniatures in the Metropolitan Museum of Art - by Graham Reynolds
- History of Miniature Art - by J.L. Propert
- How to Paint Miniatures - by Robert Hughes & Elizabeth Johnson
- Looking for Eulabee Dix, The Illustrated Biography of An American Miniaturist - by Jo Ann Ridley
- Love and Loss, American Portrait & Mourning Miniatures - by Robin Jaffee Frank
- The Magic of Miniatures - by Jo Clay
- Miniature Art of Australia ~ Past and Present - by the Australian Society of Miniature Art Tasmania, Inc.
- Miniature Art Today - by Bede Zel Angle
- Miniature Painting: A Complete Guide to Techniques, Mediums, and Surfaces - by Joan Cornish Willies
- The Miniature Portrait Collection of the Carolina Art Association - by Martha R. Severens
- Miniatures - by Dudley Heath
- Miniatures: A Selection of Miniatures in the Ashmolean Museum - by Richard Walker
- Miniatures: Dictionary and Guide - by Daphne Foskett
- Modern Masters of Miniature Art in America - by Wes Siegrist
- Painting Miniatures - by Elizabeth Davys Wood
- Perfect Likeness European and American Portrait Miniatures from the Cincinnati Art Museum - by Julie Aronson and Majorie E. Wieseman
- The Portrait Miniature in England - by Katherine Coombs
- Portrait Miniatures - by Bill Mundy
- Portrait Miniatures 2 - by Bill Mundy
- Portrait Miniatures from the Daphne Foskett Collection - by Stephen Lloyd
- Portrait Miniatures from Scottish Private Collections - by Stephen Lloyd
- Portrait Miniatures in Early American History: 1750-1840 - by R.W. Norton Staff
- Portrait Miniatures Oriental by Bill Mundy
- Richard & Maria Cosway - by Stephen Lloyd
- The Techniques of Painting Miniatures - by Sue Burton
- Timeless Treasures VHS/ DVD Video presentation from Miniature Art Society of Florida - Doris M. Liverman and Kay Petryszak
- The Way How to Lymne - by Jim Murrell
- The World of Nature in Miniature; Paintings by Wes & Rachelle Siegrist - by Wes Siegrist
- Wallace Collection Catalogue of Miniatures - by Graham Reynolds
Online Links for Miniature Art:
- MiniArt Supply - Supplies for artists of miniatures & other fine detail work. (list most all contemporary miniature art shows)
- Polymers Plus - Supplies, books, frames for artists of miniatures.
- True Gesso - 16th Century style gessoed panels
- www.welovewood.com - Magnifying Glasses
- The Brass Binnacle - Magnifying Glasses
- DeMairo - Ground gemstones for artist's pigments
- DEALERS | COLLECTORS | GALLERIES | BLOGS:
- Gallery Jaegy-theoleyre Portrait Miniatures, Paris
- Portrait Miniature … En France
- Lemoine-Bouchard Fine Arts: Online Gallery and Research Center for 18th - 19th Century French Miniatures and French Iconography
- Miniatury portretowe: Pierwszy portal o miniaturach portretowych [Miniature portraits: The first portal of portrait miniatures]
- Elle Shushan Fine Portrait Miniatures
- World in Miniature
- Artists and Ancestors - A Miniature Portrait Collection. (Don Shelton)
- Christine Archibald Portrait Miniatures - Dealer and collector of fine portrait miniatures.
- Portrait Miniatures from Barry Hayes - Dealer and collector of fine portrait miniatures.
- Piccolo Art - Piccolo Art is an art dealer specializing in antique portrait miniatures and small portraits from the 18th to the early 20th centuries.
- Llewellyn Alexander (Fine Paintings) LTD - One of the foremost galleries in the world selling miniatures and silhouettes in Oil and Watercolour by Living Artists.
- British and European Historic Miniature Portraits via Judy & Brian Harden Antiques
- Wiebold Studio - Restoration and Framing of Miniatures. Has notes on period framing with reproductions available for purchase.
- A Private Portrait Miniature Collection (Arturi-Phillips)
- Philip Mould & Company
- Emma Rutherford Fine Art Consultant (Specialist in Portrait Miniatures)
- Wigs on the Green specializes in fine portrait miniatures, silhouettes, small portraits, and provincial art, predominantly from the 18th and 19th centuries.
- Lawrence Gould Antiques Portrait Miniatures.
- MINIATURE SHOW LISTINGS & CONTACT INFORMATION:
- Show listings at the art-in-miniature.org website
- Read some of the essays featured inside our book,Exquisite Miniatures by Wes & Rachelle Siegrist, courtesy of Traditional Fine Arts Organization, a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering education in American art through advocacy, grants, publication and research.
- Comprehensive information on the miniature sculptures of Louis Rosenthal.
- Information on the substrate Ivorine from Nancy Still of Miniartsupply.biz (PDF 309 KB)
- Wikipedia Section on Miniature Art
- Wikipedia: The Book of Kells
- Answers.com: Information on Portrait Miniatures
- "The Art of the American Miniature Portrait" essay by Peter J. Baldaia
- Brief History of Persian Miniature Painting
- Brief History on Moslem Miniature Painting
- Article on European Portrait Miniature Painters
- Article on Hans Holbein/ Miniatures/ The Wallace Collection, London, England.
- Article on miniatures/ Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- ArtCult's Miniature page - Sales results of historic minis.
- Les heures de Turin-Milan - Miniatures by Jan van Eyck
- The Making of Russian Lacquer Boxes
Miniatures Paintings by the Siegrists on display in a collector home.
Back to the top
Artofwildlife.com is the official website of Wes & Rachelle Siegrist, maintained by Wes Siegrist. All artwork, images and contents of this website are © Wes & Rachelle Siegrist.