This Dollhouse-Sized Museum Exhibition Will Show Tiny Works by Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread, and Other Artists—See Images Here

Mar 30, 2021

In what may be the tiniest museum show ever, England’s Pallant Gallery will showcase work this summer by more than 30 of Britain’s most famous artists—and it will all be no bigger than the length of a No. 2 pencil.

The show, titled “Masterpieces in Miniature,” features an architectural model gallery lined with original tiny works by artists including Rachel Whiteread, Maggi Hambling, Grayson Perry, John Akomfrah, Tacita Dean, and Lubaina Himid.

The works span all media, from Damien Hirst’s half-inch spin painting to Edmund de Waal’s tiny ceramic sculpture atop a petite pedestal. Even Akomfrah’s stirring film installations have been compressed into a photographic triptych that fits inside one lilliputian gallery. Another prize is the inclusion of a miniature print from the late photographer Khadija Saye’s series “Crown,” the only work not destroyed in the Grenfell Tower fire that also claimed the artist’s life.

1934 Model Art Gallery. Photo: Barney Hindle © Pallant House Gallery.

The dollhouse-sized space will be the third model gallery in the Pallant’s collection, following in the footsteps of the “Thirty Four Gallery” and “The Model Art Gallery 2000.” The first, created in 1934 at the request of art dealer Syndey Burney to raise money for charity, featured works by Vanessa Bell, Ivon Hitchens, and Henry Moore. To mark the new millennium, Pallant House Gallery commissioned “The Model Art Gallery 2000,” itself a replica of the gallery’s white cube extension, and showcasing artists from the collection of Colin St. John Wilson, including Frank Auerbach, Peter Blake, Antony Gormley, Anthony Caro, and Howard Hodgkin.

Model Art Gallery 2020. Photo: Barney Hindle © Pallant House Gallery.

The trio of model galleries comprise a micro time capsule of more than 80 years of British art, encompassing artists from the Bloomsbury Group, the Pop art era, and the Young British Artists of the 1990s.

The collaborative project is “filled with optimism and hope for the future: about creating something positive out of all of this disruption and uncertainty,” said Pallant House Gallery director Simon Martin in a statement. “All the usual complex considerations about curation and display have come into play, about different media and forms of art including painting, drawing, sculpture, site-specific installation, and photography.”

Martin adds that he plans for the exhibition to travel to other venues in the future.

During the past year of lockdown, numerous other artists have turned to the small stage as well, including curator Filippo Lorenzin and artist Marianna Benetti, who created a miniature art gallery for their urbane pet gerbils, and a Brooklyn-based artist who launched a contest for creatives to share their dream homes rendered in miniature clay dioramas.

See more images from the show below.

Edmund de Waal, and show and end (2020). Pallant House Gallery, Chichester. (Donated by the Artist, 2020) © Edmund de Waal.

Gary Hume, Archipelago (2020). Pallant House Gallery, Chichester. (Donated by the Artist, 2020) © Gary Hume.

Bob and Roberta Smith, Look (2020). Pallant House Gallery, Chichester. (Donated by the Artist, 2020) © Bob and Roberta Smith.

Maggi Hambling, Naked Night (2020). Pallant House Gallery, Chichester. (Donated by the Artist, 2020) ©Maggi Hambling.