Collectively Speaking

The Journey

Everything seems so clear in retrospect, doesn’t it? 

I’ve been asked hundreds of times, “When did you first know you wanted to collect miniatures?” and like most miniaturists, I find it difficult to pin down a precise moment. But now that I think about it, there were signs early on leading to what would become my passion. 

Only twelve of these ribbon-backed arm chairs were made by famed miniature artisan John Hodgson. He gave Number 1 to the Queen of England. Kaye Browning has Number 8.

When I was ten, my girlfriend received a dollhouse as a gift. I had my own, but her house was different. It had something special, yet I didn’t know what it was. I remember looking at the realism of the items. I analyzed the proportions, the materials and how everything fit together so perfectly to become a “real room.” The atmosphere was a feeling of warmth, and I felt like I was being invited across the threshold to live in the miniatures world. 

Later, while reading Tasha Tudor‘s A is for Annabelle to my two daughters, I noticed that the bed and blanket on the “Q” page were the very same four-poster spool bed and pink and white nine-patch quilt that I had as a child. I must have dwelled on it because my first husband, Bill, made the bed for me in one-twelfth scale from a black walnut gun butt using a Dremel mini-lathe. It was perfect! He was not an artisan, nor did either one of us know anything about miniatures, but I was spellbound by the diminutive bed. I consider it my first miniature and it sits in Westbury Hall, a house that I have furnished with many other items reflecting my youth.

If my first husband planted the seed for collecting miniatures, my second husband, Louis Browning, is certainly responsible for nurturing and supporting my passion. Together, we have traveled the world collecting pieces that today are part of the KSB Miniatures Collection at the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center in Maysville, Kentucky. I am forever grateful to have found a partner in love and life who enjoys watching me share with the world all of these tiny creations from talented artisans, past and present.  

In the coming posts I hope to enchant you with some of the wonderful experiences we have had over the past thirty years. I want to introduce you to the miniature artisans and collectors who have become our friends. I want to impart to you the knowledge that we have learned from them and show you individual pieces that are remarkable both technically and creatively. 

More than anything, I hope to inspire you to look at the world of miniatures as the art form that it truly is. I have been fortunate to collect from the best artisans in the world and to feel connected to them through our mutual love of the pieces they have created. Now I wish to inspire and educate others on the small things in my life that have created such huge joy. I welcome your comments, your questions and suggestions and hope to hear your own stories of collecting what you cherish. Thank you for taking part in my passionate pursuit of miniatures. 

Kentucky Gateway MuseUM CENTER
215 Sutton Street, Maysville, Kentucky 41056 | 606-564-5865 |