Visitors will have the opportunity to “picture themselves in history” – literally – with a handmade custom traditional silhouette portrait, made the festive May Day event at the popular living history museum, on Saturday, May 2.
Baltimore, Maryland historical artisan Lauren Muney will be creating period-style silhouette portraits of visitors, live in person. Her silhouette portraits are cut freehand with scissors, without drawing or tracing or using any machine. These types of portraits have been beloved for hundreds of years, and are iconic to American history – especially the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Federal periods. These portrait types can be found in historic houses, museum walls , and even family portraits throughout the world.
Silhouettes are profile portraits, most often as a black image on a white background. These elegant portraits show the distinct personality of each visitor, and even special details. Silhouettes were the portraits of the common people before the invention of photography; these fast but exquisite profile portraits can be considered the ‘snapshots’ of our forefathers. The freehand technique that Lauren Muney uses is the same American silhouette technique used for centuries. The experience will be of stepping into a historic traveling artist studio – but customers will be amazed to learn that the portrait takes only two (2) minutes – also a traditional amount of time for the original historic artists.
Muney, a designer, producer, and consultant, is one of only a handful of silhouette artists working in the entire United States and Canada. She may be the only silhouette artist who dress in period-authentic clothing and give historical details while creating the portraits, providing “living history” through the portraits and the experience. She has been featured in many national events, fairs, and museums, including the Smithsonian Institution, Canada’s Upper Canada Village, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, National Park Service, and more, including corporate events. Visitors are always intrigued even just by watching these portraits being created. Lauren is featured in Early American Life magazine as a “master” traditional artist.
Silhouette portraits often become family heirlooms, whether from a past ancestor in the 18th or 19th century, or created in the 21st century. Families interested in starting their own family tradition, and enjoying our national heritage should come to Historic St Mary’s City Museum especially for this unique silhouette portrait opportunity as well as celebrating May Day celebrations.
More information about Lauren Muney’s “Silhouettes By Hand” can be found at www.silhouettesbyhand.com . There is a fee for silhouettes, and optional historic-style frames and mats can be purchased as well.