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Miniature Icons: Traditional v. New School

For much of it’s history, upscale, collectible miniature art has been primarily focused on creating miniature works that replicate Victorian style and early 20th century architecture, art, clothing and the like—after all, the dollhouse and the practice of creating miniatures were founded during this era. Traditional miniaturists focus on preserving this style through their work, often replicating full sized pieces from the time period in 1:12 scale. Some of the masters of this tradition spend their entire careers meticulously researching and designing and crafting ornate pieces which are reminiscent of times past.

One notable master of the “old” style, is Peter Acquisto, who is known for his precise 1:12 (and 1:24) scale reproductions of antique silver pieces.

Geoffrey Wonnacott is another master who makes exquisite miniature furniture that is often sourced from reclaimed antiques.

Henry Kupjack is yet another example of an artist who has really mastered this style. His magnificent to-scale room “boxes” replicate scenes from the 19th and early 20th century.

However, while the more traditional works are what come to mind when many of us think of miniatures, there is also a growing group of miniaturists who are defining themselves as distinctively “new-school.” These designers focus on creating modern and contemporary style miniature pieces that are reminiscent of the design styles that have been prominent from the 1950’s to today.

Michael Yurkovic is perhaps one of the biggest names when it comes to new style miniatures. Founder of the Atomic Miniature, his pieces replicate the brightly colored, clean, modern designs of the 1950s and 60’s.

Similarly, miniature potter John Almeda creates high-quality miniature pots, vases and bowls that are uniquely modern.

Finding artists who are focused on contemporary miniature style is a bit more rare, but artist Sae Nakagawa’s clean, rustic, minimalist designs have really set the bar for this style.

Do you prefer the traditional or the contemporary? Who are you favorite icons of these styles? Let us know in the comments below!

(Photo Credits: Pinterest, Good Sam Showcase of Miniatures, Charitybuzz, IGMA, Instagram)

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