Richard McMahan’s minimuseum For the past eighteen years, Richard McMahan has been creating his own personal museum collection featuring miniature replicas of the world’s greatest works of art. This Florida savant has an exceptional talent for producing tiny images representing famous art in museum collections such as the Hermitage, the Prado, the Louvre, the Metropolitan, and the Museum of Modern Art, among others. Though he has never been to any of these museums in person, this self-taught artist has studied these works through books in his local library in Jacksonville. McMahan began his collection at age sixteen when he became fascinated by Egyptian history and culture as represented through the artifacts of King Tutankhamen’s tomb that he saw in National Geographic magazine. He began his collection by reproducing the first of three miniature tomb replicas, and each one has been more complex and detailed than the previous.
Working from photographs he found in National Geographic magazines and various books on Carter’s discovery in the 1920’s, McMahan sought to reproduce every object known to have been in the tomb of the young Egyptian ruler, including objects inside of urns, embalmed organs, and other paraphernalia. In this third iteration of the tomb, McMahan has personalized the original creation into a fictional tomb for Ka-Ra-Neb, a Pharaoh of the artist’s imagination. Included in McMahan’s worldwide tour of art are miniature replicas of cave paintings, Greek and Roman art, Byzantine art, religious icons, paintings and sculptures from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, art nouveau furniture, graphic arts, drawings, and a wry selection of contemporary art. The collection now numbers over eleven hundred individual works, making this effort seem all the more epic in its scale.