man.jpgWelcome to the Association of Miniature Artists [AMA]

Miniature art has been in existence for centuries tracing its heritage back to the illustrated manuscripts of scribes in the Far East and Europe prior to the 15th century. The current resurgence in popularity in miniature art started in 1896 in England and expanded worldwide in the late 1900s.

The contemporary revival in miniature art has been marked by a clear move towards explicitly including size and scale in the general description of the works. In an effort to encourage and further define the direction of the art form most contemporary societies have adopted a one-sixth scale guideline: Subjects should be rendered one-sixth their life-size or smaller with some leeway given to naturally small subjects (hummingbirds, butterflies and delicate flowers).

Some shows place no guidelines on subject size and limit only the image area. Framing guidelines have been loosened lately to include more molding styles and sizes as long as the overall framed work falls under the set size. Most society exhibitions encourage delicate frames matching the proportions of the artwork.

Foremost in importance in contemporary miniature art is the highly skilled and painstaking techniques should be evident upon viewing the artwork. This is often described as the work should hold up well under magnification. It should draw the viewer’s eye deeper and deeper into itself with amazement at the gem-like details of the tiny treasure.

The ultimate goal of the AMA is to develop an international standard for miniature art today. It was conceived and founded by members of the Yahoo Miniature Art Forum in July 2007. Please feel free to copy this page and any text on this website. Any images on this website (besides the AMA logo) may not be copied without permission.

1. Miniature portrait of an Unknown Man, 1659 (w/c on vellum), Cooper, Samuel (1609-72)  /  Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK,   /  The Bridgeman Art Library

2. For in-depth information on the history and scope of miniature art past and present please read Modern Masters of Miniature Art in America (Available as a free PDF download) The scholarly portions of the book are being updated via a blog:

3. Text on page courtesy of Wes Siegrist.  (This website is no longer updated)

Updated October 6, 2014