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GALLERY HOURS (during exhibitions)
Monday - Saturday, 11am – 4pm
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MAY 16 - JUNE 30, 2008

Richard McMahan

MINIMUSEUM

MAY 16 - JUNE 30, 2008

Richard McMahan

MINIMUSEUM

For decades, 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. 

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.

McMahan does not sell works from his collection. He has done a few, select commissions of works, but always made a duplicate for his own collection if he did not already have a replica. The minimuseum collection represents McMahan’s idiosyncratic cross-sectional view of art history and is not intended to be comprehensive of traditional art historical scholarship. While it is very much a personal collection, it is no less rigorous for that. The collection is here having its most significant showing to date.

Richard McMahan is an artist of exceptional abilities. He has an uncanny knack for attending to the smallest details of his miniatures. He accurately replicates an artist’s brushstrokes, as evidenced in paintings by Goya and Van Gogh, and mimics the style of presentation by creating historically accurate frames.

The display of Richard McMahan’s minimuseum is a design/build project by the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston (CAC.C), which was asked to develop a methodology for presenting this diverse body of over eleven hundred works. Under the direction of Director Robert Miller and Professor David Pastre, the students in this program researched the history of museums, museum display, and miniature art.

The goal of this exhibition is to expose the work of this singular artist to a broader public. Since Richard McMahan chooses not to try and make his living from his art and because he does not seek publicity of any kind, his works are largely unknown to the arbiters of the artworld and the general public. One desirable outcome for this exhibition would be for a major museum to ask to recreate this unique display as a semi-permanent installation.

Mark Sloan
Director and Chief Curator
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

Richard McMahan’s Minimuseum was co-sponsored by Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston, the Friends of the Addlestone Library, City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts. Additional thanks to Susan Pearlstine, Leilani DeMuth, Brian Rutenberg, Ray and Leah Greenberg, LeGrand and Allison Elebash, Robben Richards, Alis Whit, and Diane Straney.

View online exhibition (FLASH)

Richard McMahan

MINIMUSEUM

MAY 16 - JUNE 30, 2008
ABOUT THE ARTIST

 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.

View the original exhibition site (FLASH)

Visit the original exhibition site here: https://halsey.cofc.edu/minimuseum/index.html

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Free For All
GALLERY HOURS (during exhibitions)
Monday - Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Open Thursdays until 7pm
843.953.4422

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