OPEN TODAY 1-5pm
OPEN

Miniature Portraits

Permanent Exhibition

Gallery 5

BUY TICKETS

The first American miniature portraits were painted in Charleston, and today the Gibbes is home to one of the most prestigious portrait miniature collections in the United States. Containing more than six hundred objects, the collection spans nearly two hundred years and represents the work of over a hundred artists. Small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, these tiny portraits were treasured remembrances of loved ones in the age before photography. Presented in state-of-the-art display cases, and in viewable storage drawers featured miniatures include works by Mary Roberts, Jeremiah Theus, Henry Benbridge, Charles Wilson Peale, Pierre Henri, Edward Greene Malbone, George Engleheart, and Charles Fraser.

Explore the miniature collection here.

<i>Colonel Thomas Pinckney, Jr. (1780-1842)</i>, by Edward Greene Malbone (American, 1777-1807); watercolor on ivory; 3 x 2 3/8 inches; Museum purchase; 1939.004.0003

Colonel Thomas Pinckney, Jr. (1780-1842), by Edward Greene Malbone (American, 1777-1807); watercolor on ivory; 3 x 2 3/8 inches; Museum purchase; 1939.004.0003

<i>Ralph Stead (1815-1858)and Anne Stead Izard (1812-1892)</i>, 1801, by Louis Antonie Collas (French, 1775-after 1829); oil on porcelain; 7 3/8 x 9 1/8 inches; Bequest of Mrs. Julius Heyward; 1943.004.0001

Ralph Stead (1815-1858)and Anne Stead Izard (1812-1892), 1801, by Louis Antonie Collas (French, 1775-after 1829); oil on porcelain; 7 3/8 x 9 1/8 inches; Bequest of Mrs. Julius Heyward; 1943.004.0001

<i>H. F. Plowden Weston (1738-1827)</i>, by Charles Fraser (American, 1782-1860); watercolor on ivory; 3 7/8 x 3 1/4 inches; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Eliza Huger Kammerer Fund in memory of Helen Gardner McCormack; 1974.004

H. F. Plowden Weston (1738-1827), by Charles Fraser (American, 1782-1860); watercolor on ivory; 3 7/8 x 3 1/4 inches; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Eliza Huger Kammerer Fund in memory of Helen Gardner McCormack; 1974.004

<i>Unidentified sitter</i>, ca. 1745, by Mary Roberts (American, d. 1761); watercolor on ivory; 1 1/8 x 1 inches; Bequest of Mrs. Amelia Josephine Emanuel; 1939.009.0001

Unidentified sitter, ca. 1745, by Mary Roberts (American, d. 1761); watercolor on ivory; 1 1/8 x 1 inches; Bequest of Mrs. Amelia Josephine Emanuel; 1939.009.0001

<i>Eliza Izard (Mrs. Thomas Pinckney, Jr., 1784-1862)</i>, 1801, by Edward Greene Malbone (American, 1777-1807); watercolor on ivory; 2 7/8 x 2 3/8 inches; Museum purchase; 1939.004.0004

Eliza Izard (Mrs. Thomas Pinckney, Jr., 1784-1862), 1801, by Edward Greene Malbone (American, 1777-1807); watercolor on ivory; 2 7/8 x 2 3/8 inches; Museum purchase; 1939.004.0004

Related Content

Society 1858 Celebrates Donté K. Hayes as Winner of Prize for Contemporary Southern Art

The month of February was filled with celebration and conversation surrounding contemporary Southern art as Society 1858 and the Gibbes Museum of Art welcomed the 2019 Prize winner Donté K….

READ MORE

Family-Level Memberships Available for Check Out at all CCPL Branches

Charleston, S.C., February 18, 2020 – In an effort to fulfill their mission to make art accessible to all, the Gibbes Museum of Art has launched a partnership with the…

READ MORE

Women Artists of the South

Spanning the decades between the late 1890s and early 1960s, Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists from the Johnson Collection brings together for the first time the paintings and…

READ MORE

Uniting Passions—The Penkhus Collection of British Sporting Art

Charleston is fortunate to have passionate art collectors in its midst and doubly fortunate that collectors like Stephen and Martha Penkhus (Steve and Marty) enjoy sharing their treasured artworks and…

READ MORE