Up Close and PersonalArt on an Intimate Scale

August 17, 2019 through March 29, 2020

Pocketwatch Case with Four Daguerreotypes, c. 1850, Gift of Dr. Robert L. and Chitranee Drapkin from The Ludmila Dandrew and Chitranee Drapkin Collection

Unknown Artist, The Fledgling, 1900-1950, Wood, Gift of Mrs T.R. Harney


Throughout history, cultures around the globe have created masterful works of art intended for either personal enjoyment or for sharing with a small number of people. This exhibition, primarily drawn from the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, focuses on such diminutive objects that can easily be overlooked due to their small size and intimate focus. Ranging from Japanese netsuke—the petite sculptural toggles on men’s kimonos, to wearable English portrait miniatures of family members or lovers, to an ancient Greek wine cup from the time of the Trojan War, these objects reveal the significance of individual taste. At the same time, these personal works offer wonderfully intimate glimpses into how they functioned as mementos, objects of private religious devotion, symbols of political affiliations, or signifiers of wealth and status.

Made possible by Helen and Richard Minck Memorial Foundation