Inside the Museum of Miniatures

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About microminiature

What is microminiature?

Microminiature is an art genre that began to disseminate in late 1980s. The basic feature of this art is impossibility to see the work of art with naked eye and the necessity to view it through an optical device such as a microscope or a magnifying glass. The size is not exactly defined – micro miniature dimension may be a couple of millimetres or just a couple of tenths of a millimetre. Artists producing microminiatures are called micro miniaturists. There is an unwritten rule saying that every beginning micro miniaturist should create a couple of works of the “classical microminiature” such as an inscription on human hair, on a rice grain or a pinhead, a camel train in a needle ear, or a shoed flea. This list may differ country by country subject to national tradition.

Microminiature school
There is no official school of the art of micro miniature. Every artist must produce their own instruments and technology, which may be transferred from other fields, such as micro surgery of the eye etc. In exceptional cases the artist may pass their art on disciples.

Time of creation
Creation of a micro miniature consists of two parts: theoretical and practical. Every work is unique and that is why the time needed for its creation depends on its complexity and size. First the artist must find the most appropriate technology including production of tools, selection of material and decision on the number of parts the work will consist of. Then the artist can proceed to the actual microminiature creation. The creation itself may take a week but the preceding search for technology may take years. Often the artist´s first attempts fail. In that case selection of another technology is necessary.

3 typical problems
Micro miniature works are hand-made, which brings hidden issues. The first complication is hand tremor that makes micro miniature creation difficult. Every movement must be precise and every attempt must be successful. Another issue is blood pulsing in the fingers. Most people do not even notice it. But micro miniaturist must learn to work in between their heart beats. And the last problem is the non- negligible presence of static charge. Both the tools and the materials are often metallic. For that reason a part may unexpectedly fly away. In that case it is often necessary to start anew. The most often used materials include copper and gold thanks to their properties, such as softness etc.

Our museum

The story of a small museum on Strahov

     The very first exhibition today housed by the Museum of Micro Miniatures at Strahov, was held in St. Petersburg in 1996. A year later the same exhibition was organised in Jilská street in Prague – Old Town. Following successful presentation the exhibition obtained permanent background on the premises of the Strahov Monastery in Prague. Since 1998 there has been the Museum of Miniatures with its permanent address at Strahovské nádvoří 11, Prague 1.

     Today the Miniature Museum in Prague manages one of the largest collections of microminiatures in the world, including 29 exhibits. The collection includes works by three authors: Nikolai Aldunin (1956–2009), Edward Ter Ghazarian (1923–2012) and Anatoly Konenko (*1954).

Elena Kinol is managing the Museum of Miniatures; PetroArt-Trade s.r.o. IČO: 25720597

visit our museum

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adults 130 crowns
70 crowns

open daily

9 am – 5 pm
Strahovské nádvoří 11, Praha
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+420 233 352 371

Strahovské nádvoří 11, Praha

Take a tram 22 to Pohořelec station
+420 233 352 371