Small MattersThe big appeal of tiny things.

Small MattersThe big appeal of tiny things.

In his phenomenological study of architecture, The Poetics of Space, philosopher Gaston Bachelard describes a key difference between how the minuscule and the gigantic engage our minds. “A bit of moss may well be a pine, but a pine will never be a bit of moss,” he writes. “The imagination does not function with the same conviction in both directions.” By serving to conjure possible worlds, tiny items have become objects of fascination and even obsession throughout history, from portraits gifted as signs of affection in Tudor and Stuart England to dollhouses and Legos used by children as toys or educational tools.

The otherworldliness of miniatures manifests itself in myriad ways. Stuffed animals and action figures turn into children’s friends as narratives are created around t...

The full version of this story is only available for subscribers

Want to enjoy full access? Subscribe Now

Subscribe Discover unlimited access to Kinfolk

  • Four print issues of Kinfolk magazine per year, delivered to your door, with twelve-months’ access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

  • Receive twelve-months of all access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

Learn More

Already a Subscriber? Login

Your cart is empty

Your Cart (0)