Small Talk / Miniature

New Acquisitions of Fine-Scale Miniatures

Did you ever wonder how T/m has built such an amazing collection of fine-scale miniatures? Barbara Marshall, the museum’s co-founder started collecting miniatures in the 1950s with a 1:12 scale rocking chair made by Eric Pearson. In the 1970s, Mrs. Marshall got involved with the contemporary fine-scale miniature movement and developed a reputation for being a generous patron with an eye for great art. Many miniature artists talk about how Mrs. Marshall would ask them what they had always dreamed of making, then commission them to do just that.

Barbara Marshall continued to develop the collection by attending the largest and most well-regarded miniature show in the country, Chicago International. Museum staff members remember Mrs. Marshall returning from her annual trips to Chicago with a couple of shopping bags full of exquisite miniatures.

Mrs. Marshall retired from the museum in 2010, and the museum staff took a hiatus from collecting miniatures to focus on a major renovation.  That changed in 2017 when T/m hosted Miniature Masterworks, a juried showcase and sale. Sixty-seven artists came to Kansas City from around the world to participate, and many of them entered the competition for the Barbara Marshall Award for Artistic Achievement. With its incredible success in bringing artists and collectors together, T/m recently announced the next Miniature Masterworks, scheduled for September 17-19, 2021.

T/m curators Amy McKune and Laura Taylor selected a small number of artworks to purchase during Miniature Masterworks 2017, then scheduled a trip to the Chicago International Show in April 2018. Laura had attended the show twice before, most recently in 2011, but the 2018 show was the first for Amy. We knew many of the exhibiting artists from their participation in Miniature Masterworks.

Before leaving for Chicago, we identified some collecting goals. We wanted to acquire new work by artists already represented in the collection to exemplify how their work has evolved since 2010. We also wanted to discover new artists whose work meets Mrs. Marshall’s exacting standards. While we did not have the resources to return with two shopping bags full of objects, we did have the funds to make a few strategic purchases, some of which are featured in this post. There is also a new case in the miniature gallery to highlight new acquisitions, including some of those purchased in 2017 and 2018.

Next month, we’ll once again be attending Chicago International. Stay tuned for a post later this year that will highlight our 2019 purchases.

lowboard

This 6-3/4” x 2-1/4” lowboard by Spanish artist Fernando Setien is based on a 1959 Paola Lowboard by Belgian furniture designer Oswald Vermaercke. The lowboard is named for Paola who married the Prince of Liege in 1959. She became the queen of Belgium when her husband, King Albert II, ascended to the throne in 1993. Setien has been creating fine-scale miniatures for only a few years, but his work displays a great deal of sophistication and artistry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

aquarium

With the financial support of our dedicated volunteers, T/m purchased this 3-15/16″ x 11-15/16″ aquarium made by Miyuki Kobayashi (Japanese). Kobayashi molds the aquatic life out of clay, then positions them in poured resin. The colorful fish appear to be swimming in water, just as they do in a full-scale aquarium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

candlestick

Barbara Marshall has been purchasing exquisite silver and gold pieces from Jens Torp (Danish, working in England) since 1995. This 1-13/16” high candlestick features the artist’s own design, which he created during a master class he was teaching at Miniature I Tune (www.miniatureintune.com), an international summer school in Greve, Denmark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since 1981, Jane Graber (American) has worked full-time creating fine-scale miniatures, and Mrs. Marshall has been her patron almost from the start. Many of the artworks by Graber in T/m’s collection are redware and stoneware. She only recently began working in the Arts and Crafts style of these three 3/4” tall daffodil vases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miniature Masterworks: Johannes Landman

Johannes Landman specializes in miniature paintings inspired by the Dutch Golden Age. His 1:12 oil paintings are created on wooden panels that are covered in gesso. When finished, his work is mounted in hand-carved frames.

Landman is one of more than 60 artists participating in Miniature Masterworks, September 15-17, 2017. He will be giving a gallery talk about his work in the T/m collection and the inspiration behind it on September 17 at 1:30pm.

Miniature Masterworks: Miyuki Kobayashi

Miyuki Kobayashi began making miniature food and flowers 25 years ago. Now, she creates miniature aquariums complete with tropical and seawater fish, plants, and coral. Kobayashi pays special attention to expressing the vivid movement of her subjects, portraying them as naturally as possible.

Kobayashi is one of more than sixty artists participating in Miniature Masterworks, September 15-17, 2017.

Miniature Masterworks: Elizabeth McInnis

Elizabeth McInnis’s animal figures are carved from wood with inset glass or acrylic eyes. She brings them to life with fur, feathers, and other materials as needed to complete the illusion of reality. McInnis’s work reflects her childhood love of art and animals.

McInnis is one of more than sixty artists participating in Miniature Masterworks, September 15-17, 2017. She will be giving a gallery talk about her work in the T/m collection and the inspiration behind it on Saturday, September 16 at 12:30 pm.

 

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