The May 6 issue of The New York Times includes an article on dollhouse scale miniatures in their Fashion and Style section. From a high end designer, to a professor of anthropology and our very own Darren Scala and Kate Ünver, the article touches on how and why people get involved with miniatures. Every few years it seems like the miniatures hobby pokes its little head above the waters of the larger world to enjoy the fascination of those who were not previously aware of its existence; occasionally miniatures even feature in a major museum exhibition, as in the Otherwordly exhibit at the NYC Museum of Art and Design in 2011.
Many hobbies experience fluctuations in popularity, but the miniatures industry seems to remain rather even. There is a natural turnover in craftsmen and dealers as new artists enter and others leave the marketplace, but the big shows are still big and successful, there are museums that focus on miniatures thriving in various locations around the world, and many artists are able to earn a decent living in the field.
Miniature versions of familiar objects appeal to almost everyone, but whether or not that fascination will lead to an involvement with the hobby is not exactly predictable. In order to survive, this hobby, like all others, needs to attract younger devotees continuously and that can be a challenge. IGMA sponsors several programs that reach out to aspiring miniaturists, crafting sessions and budget-priced miniatures for children at our show, scholarships to Guild School as well as Study Programs, which are open to all, in various locations around the country.
What do you do to spread the word about miniatures? What else could IGMA be doing?