Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers
The aims of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers are to esteem, protect and practice the traditional 16th Century art of miniature painting emphasising the infinite patience needed for its fine techniques. Its patron is His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
The Society of Miniature Painters was founded in May 1896 by Alyn Williams, (1865-1941), in which year it had its inaugural exhibition in the Modern Gallery, 175 New Bond Street, London, and is devoted exclusively to contemporary miniature paintings.
King Edward VII granted the society a Royal Charter on 30 May 1904, and it became the Royal Miniature Society or RMS. To highlight the Society's growing importance the President's Jewel was commissioned in 1920. This is a large, elaborate silver chain of office designed and made by Alfred Lyndhurst Pocock, (1881-1962), which is still worn by the current president at formal functions. In 1926 the Society's scope was extended to include sculptors and gravers and its name was changed by the Royal Command of King George V. The Society's Gold Memorial Bowl Award was established in 1985 and is one of the highest accolades for miniature art in the world. Since its foundation the Society has had eight different Presidents (Alyn Williams was president twice, 1896-1898, 1908-1941), including Sir William Blake Richmond (1842-1921) and Raymond Lister (1919-2001). The RMS's annual exhibition of around 650 works is held each October at the Mall Galleries in London. When the Society was founded the maximum size for a miniature was 12 by 10 inches - today the permitted size, including the frame, is 6 by 4.5 inches (15 x 11.5cm). Elizabeth R Meek, who held the post of president between 2004-2013, describes working in miniature as the most demanding of all painting genre. She names some of the qualities required as: "Concentration, stillness of mind and body and a dogged perseverance for perfection - the perfect miniature needs to be devoid of errors."
The Society's 117th Annual Exhibition was held between 15th-27th October 2013 at the Mall Galleries. There were over 640 works on show, with attendance figures and sales up on the 2012 exhibition.
- Cecil Thomas,
- Henry Harding Bingley,
- Dudley Hardy, (1867-1922)
- John Hassall, (1868-1948)
- Hal Hurst, (1865-1938)
- John Mennie, (1911-1987)
- Cecil Watson Quinnell, (1868-1932)
- Henry Saxon,
- Eileen Soper,
- Omar Ramsden, (1873-1939)
- Charles Spencelayh, (1865-1958)
- Specimen miniature paintings
- Royal Miniature Society Home Page
- 'The Renaissance of Miniature Painting' by Anthony J Lester, Hon.RMS, AICA, FRSA, RMS Exhibition Catalogue, 2014.
- Back from Hell - Gallery of portraits by John Mennie
- Lucas Art The Royal Society of Miniature Painters Sculptors and Gravers - One Hundred Years. (London, 1995). ISBN 0-9520456-9-9
4. 'Size Does Matter' by Anthony J Lester, Hon.RMS, AICA, FRSA, 'Art in London', Autumn, 2007.
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