The first American miniature portraits were painted in Charleston, and today the Gibbes is home to one of the most prestigious portrait miniature collections in the United States.

Containing more than six hundred objects, the collection spans nearly two hundred years and represents the work of over a hundred artists. Small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, these tiny portraits were treasured remembrances of loved ones in the age before photography.

Presented in state-of-the-art display cases, and in viewable storage drawers featured miniatures include works by Mary Roberts, Jeremiah Theus, Henry Benbridge, Charles Wilson Peale, Pierre Henri, Edward Greene Malbone, George Engleheart, and Charles Fraser.