About the Collection
The Tormey-Holder Collection is a private art collection owned and managed by Michael Tormey and James Holder of Saint Petersburg, Florida. The majority of the collection is comprised of antique miniature portraits, but full-sized portraits, sculptures and important photographs are also included in the mix.
About this Website
A primary goal of this website is to foster greater public awareness of miniature portraiture and the important role the art form played in the history and culture of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.* To this end, much like a brick-and-mortar museum, we share with visitors a glimpse of the many paintings that make up the Tormey-Holder Collection. Visitors will also find herein a growing volume of scholarly articles that aim to expand on the existing body of knowledge about the artists who painted such works. (Most of these articles are published in PDF form, so please be aware that download times may be slow at times, depending on your internet connection.)
Photographs of select miniatures can be found on our holdings pages, which serve as a digital catalog, much like printed catalogs published by other museums and galleries to highlight their own collections. Holdings have been divided into two distinct groups -- core holdings and secondary holdings -- and these groups have been further subdivided by century.
It is important to note how we designate which holdings are "core" and which ones are "secondary". Being that a significant amount of our time and energy
is spent conducting biographical research on the lives of miniature portrait painters and the subjects they painted, we have chosen to designate as "core" those holdings that can be attributed to specific artists or are of solidly identifiable subjects. Interestingly, a number of our portraits that are designated as secondary holdings are actually of greater value or are more finely painted than some of our core holdings. For the purposes of this website, however, they will remain designated as secondary holdings until such time as their subjects or the artists who painted them can be identified with additional research.
Please note, too, that this website is a work in progress. At this time, only a fraction of collection holdings have been cataloged herein. Additional photographs and articles will continue to be uploaded over time, so please plan to visit again in the near future.
*Miniature portraiture existed as early as the sixteenth century, but this collection focuses on miniatures of the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, when the art form became more widely accessible to the middle class and, therefore, took on greater cultural significance.