This volume catalogues the world's most comprehensive collection of American portrait miniatures, ranging in date from the early 18th to the 20th century and representing 155 artists. Jewel-like and intimate, the pieces portray spouses, children, and other loved ones and were usually created for personal use. The Museum's collection is also significant for its self-portraits by artists and for portraits of notable public figures. Each of the nearly six hundred works is illustrated and described in detail, and a biography and bibliography are provided for each artist. Two essays chart the history of the collection and the stylistic development of casework and lockets.
Carrie Rebora Barratt is Curator, American Paintings and Sculpture, and Manager of The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art, and Lori Zabar is Research Associate, American Paintings and Sculpture, both at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.