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visual arts

The Art of Small Things

John Mack.
Publisher Harvard  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 10 x 7.75 x 0.75 inches
ISBN 9780674026933
Pages/Publication Date 218/2007
Daedalus Item Code 40046
List Price: $24.95
Sale Price: $5.98
You Save: $18.97
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Showcasing such exquisite pieces as an entire mountain village carved into a Ming dynasty turquoise barely 5 1/2 inches high, and a tiny 2-inch mosaic executed by Giacomo Raffaelli in 1779, based on the 2nd-century Doves of Pliny, British art professor John Mack here explores the universal fascination with miniatures.

"[The author] argues persuasively that the miniature is society writ small: Squint hard at the world's knickknackery and find the cultures that produced it.... Nearly every page boasts gorgeous color plates, many of which are by necessity larger than the objects being photographed. But more than a catalog of tiny curiosities, The Art of Small Things is a study of how we relate to objects of all sizes, and of how the miniature strangely enables experiences of the vast or ephemeral."—NYSun

"This lavishly illustrated compendium of miniature art ... delves into the materials and technologies involved in the production of tiny artifacts, and the daunting skills required. (The contemporary micro-miniaturist Willard Wigan, who mounts sculptures in the eye of a needle, moves his diamond-tipped tools only in the middle of a heartbeat.) The book brims with captivating detail: intricately carved Japanese netsuke, used to suspend small belongings from the belt of a kimono, were also made to feel pleasant in the hand; Elizabethan mini-portraits worn as jewelry afforded the 'private pleasure' of ownership."—The New Yorker

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