Thirty years ago, Mary Grady O'Brien was looking for handmade American furniture for her childhood dollhouse, which she was refurbishing for her daughters. Not only did she find the furniture, in the process she discovered what was to become her passion: the study of folk art antiques and Early American decorative painting, and the re-creation in miniature of these early gems.

Beginning with historically accurate furniture and folk art accessories in one and two inch scale, Mary now paints miniature portraits based on early originals as well. "The ongoing challenge in everything I do is to be true to the spirit of those who created such beautiful objects hundreds of years ago," she says. "Both in my portraits and in the scaled furniture, I strive to retain the spirit of those who created these objects of beauty on canvas and in wood." Her finished works reveal amazing detail: the exquisite beauty of a lace collar, roses blooming on a fence far in the background, a child's toy that's slipped out of a pudgy hand. True to the originals, the children in her paintings look out at us with innocent eyes, inviting us to enter their timeless world.


Mary Grady O'Brien's paintings are amazingly precise interpretations, in miniature, of American folk art originals dating from the late 17th century into the 19th century.