Art Adventures at the Leepa-Rattner

Story and Photos by Harriet Monzon-Aguirre
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Mission to Admire Miniature Art
at the Leepa-Rattner Museum

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Through February 5
Free, donations welcome
Details here

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On Tuesday January 17, my children and I visited the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs after school.

We were on a mission to a grand exhibition of small works – The 48th Annual International Miniature Art Show presenting more than 450 exquisite miniature works from around the globe and over 100 miniatures from the Miniature Art Society of Florida (MASF) permanent collection.

We entered the museum and my three kids eagerly borrowed magnifying glasses to view the works up close.

William and Madeline studied the lower halves of the display cases while Thomas was not deterred by his shorter stature and was equally determined to put his magnifying glass to good use.

All three admired the details. They wanted to know how such wonderfully small paintings, drawings and sculptures were made.

I had hoped to meet with one of the demonstrating artists for the kids to see the magic unfold before them but unfortunately MASF member and awards judge Carol Rockwell was packing up her supplies by the time we got to the museum.

We did have time to ask an important question, “How small does a miniature work have to be, to be considered miniature?” Her answer,  within “26 cm x 26 cm” or at least ⅙ the size of the original subject matter.

From cats with crowns to portraits, natural landscapes to floral still lifes, there were many mini gems to admire, yet I believe we only appreciated half of the exquisite works on display.

My children sat quietly and watched the video about the history of miniature artwork and the MASF. We learned that working small-scale is centuries old, and that MASF was established in 1974 by Bede Zel Angle.

There was a lot more to see at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art including works that drew Maddie’s sensibilities as an artist like Miriam Schapiro’sIn the Heat of Winter’,  in the exhibit running through March 12 – Structure of Prints: The Dorothy Mitchell Collection.

I also wondered what they thought of the ‘The Last Judgment’ by Abraham Rattner.

Pondering Abraham Rattner’s The Last Judgement

We enjoyed our short and worthwhile mission to the Leepa-Rattner Museum. We hope other families will take their little ones to see the miniature artworks.

The 48th International Miniature Art Exhibition will be on display at the Leepa-Rattner Museum through February 5.

The best way to view the show gems is in person but for those who can not make the trip, the show and award winners are also available online at
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