Mementos: Painted and Photographic Miniatures, 1750-1920

June 17, 2011 - May 13, 2012

Portrait miniatures are small, engaging, painted likenesses usually created as love tokens or personal mementoes. They were very popular during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  By the 1840s, with the rise of photographic processes, small portraits were often made in that medium as well. In the later nineteenth century, portrait miniatures, often painted by women, experienced a great revival.
This installation featured miniatures from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection, and included portraits of John Paul Jones, Charles Brockden Brown, Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, and Samuel Clemens, by artists as varied as John Singleton Copley, William Dunlap, George Caleb Bingham, Eulabee Dix, and Lucy May Stanton.

View the online exhibition