TOWSON, Md. (Sept. 27, 2011)—Good things come in small packages, or so the expression goes. Artist Louis Rosenthal has epitomized that saying with a portfolio of miniature sculptures, currently on display in Towson University’s Cook Library.
Rosenthal was a Jewish immigrant who in 1907, at the age of 19, came to the United States from Lithuania. His family urged him to go into business but Rosenthal dreamt of becoming a career artist, and in 1911 earned a four-year scholarship to attend the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
There, he developed his own hollow casting method which enabled him to maintain the fine detail and sprightly animation currently observed in his tiny pieces of art, most of which are just one to two inches tall.
It was Rosenthal’s fine craftsmanship and attention to detail that in 1923 inspired King George V to alter the charter of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters to include Rosenthal, redubbing it the Royal Society of Miniature Painters and Sculptors. Then, in 1925, nearly 20 years since immigrating to the United States, Rosenthal’s dreams of artistic success became reality with a Fifth Avenue gallery exhibition.
Today, 29 bronze miniature sculptures are housed on the third floor of Cook Library. On display for the first time since 1948, the collection of Rosenthal Miniatures is part of the library’s permanent collection—a benefit of the merger between the Baltimore Hebrew Institute and Towson in 2009.
The exhibition will be on display at Cook Library through December 2011, and admission is free and open to the public.