Reflections on Miniatures

Making the large small gives power to the maker, the observer, the child.

Tiny Instructions for Planetary Problems

These itty-bitty instructions are made in tribute to Yoko Ono—the original nester of beds and ideas—who developed her own set of directions in the book Grapefruit.

Mardi Gras in Miniature: The ‘titREX Parade

I think in any form of miniature-making, there is an obsession with details that can spill over into absurdity.

This Miniature Life

Looking at the miniature felt like taking a top-shelf tranquilizer, or wafting on a cloud. In a word: euphoric.

A Thousand Small Places: The American Folk Art Buildings Collection

I’m captured by details and skill, ever wondering about intent and maker, charmed by the mystery, and often a bit moved. I admire that earnest productive guy. I bet I’d like him too.

The Clabber Girl

That scene is a world in miniature, a story sketched in black and white, an interpretation of life as it no longer is. It’s a drawing so suitable for framing that I wonder if the original...

Nostalgia, Modernity, and the Russian Lacquer Boxes of Palekh

Against all odds the Palekh masters thrived as lacquer-box artists, but they also faced periodic waves of attacks—in the 1930s and again after WWII—for their connections to both...


Pedacito means little piece; Southerners might say “little bit” instead. My grandson is my pedacito, my precious, special, much beloved little human.

The Mystery in the Mughal Painting

An example of an art form that demands such concentration is Mughal miniature painting, an art form that developed in the Indian subcontinent after the Emperor Humayun returned from fifteen...

Viruses: The Zombies Among Us

In the world of tiny things, nothing is smaller or more devastating than viruses that we cannot see with the naked eye but that hold the potential to kill millions and bring the world...

The Summer issue of South Writ Large explores miniature worlds, objects, instructions, and playthings. Fascinated by the role tiny items play in enlarging imagination, through our contributors, we learn about what draws people to the miniature in their myriad forms of expression from miniature paintings and Mardi Gras parades, to folk art buildings and Russian Palekh boxes. We have found that once you start looking for miniature items in everyday life, they appear everywhere!