This page includes and artist statement, background information, and contact resources. Join Silhouettes By Hand on Facebook for fun tidbits and frequent updates.
My name is Lauren Muney. I cut silhouettes freehand with scissors, in the traditional portrait style made especially popular 1760-1860, yet extending into the 21st century as well. I do not draw these portraits before cutting: the scissors do the “drawing”, committing the cuts immediately without possibility of erasure. People who watch me cut these portraits exclaim their amazement of the process – and often remark how much fun it is just to watch. For the sitter, silhouette portraiture is a fun in-person experience — as well as the sitter becoming an iconic classic portrait.
I have been involved in corporate and other special events for over 30 years as a producer and entertainer, so I understand the industry throughly. I offer silhouette portraiture to any business or social setting with guests, clients, or visitors – to create an personal, respectful memento of the event. Silhouettes give a quick, elegant, and interesting interactive option for upscale events.
My favorite events to participate are living-history festival events and museums. My specialty is to dress in the historical time period, have period supplies, and tell little details of the history while working, thus completing the visitors’ feeling of their own participation in a traditional art.
Parents are excited and adoring of these silhouettes portraits. They are thrilled to have traditional portraits of their children for their scrapbooks and walls. They are charmed by the traditional feel of these silhouettes, thus capturing their children forever in a beautiful style for years to come. They often have silhouettes done by mail-order or at a retail store event, as well as other of my scheduled events.
Background and Information:
Lauren Muney has been a professional artist, entertainer, producer, and consultant for over 30 years. She began her interest in cutting silhouettes after studying the entertainments of historical time periods. She fell in love with silhouettes, the art of silhouette cutting, and its place in history. She is currently located in the Baltimore, Maryland / Washington DC region of the United States, yet she travels to other states, regions, and countries to serve events. “Have scissors, will travel”.
(That’s Lauren at left, cutting a silhouette portrait. She’s not the one with the beard.)
A Rare, Traditional Artist – Internationally:
Lauren spent years seeking books and supplies for starting this antique art. There are few silhouette artists throughout the world; Lauren uses the traditional style of the 18th and 19th century scissors artists yet with her own artistic style, thanks to her vast experience as an artist, designer, and interactive entertainer. Her silhouette participation has stretched widely at the best facilities and events across the country: The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian, The Henry Ford Museum, Upper Canada Village, The Walters Art Museum, The Farmer’s Museum, Genesee Valley Country Museum, and more.
In 2013 and 2014, she was honored with being selected as a Master Artist from Early American Life Magazine – read about this honor in the blog post about the magazine and the jurying. In 2014, her silhouettes were selected to join other extraordinary traditional artworks for publication, photographed in-situ at Old Sturbridge Village museum.
In 2013, Lauren was interviewed by National Public Radio in her hometown of Baltimore, MD. Read about the interview and hear the audio here.
2014 also started with some excitement:
Lauren was interviewed for an international documentary film on silhouettes by UK-based silhouette master, Charles Burns. (Film release information TBA)
The main goals of Silhouettes By Hand:
- to create a memorable experience, a handmade portrait
- to offer an elegant reminder of the occasion – or of the sitter
- to continue the [handmade] legacy of this portrait form
- to remind people of the living experience of our history, when at museums and history-related events
- to break corporate events out of old ideas and offerings, offering a fascinated and fascinating artist to enthuse guests
- corporate events and parties
- arts centers
- museums, and historic facilities
- fairs and festivals
- social events and country clubs
- holiday and festive events
- retail establishments
- She also presents lecture programs including, “Your Face…A History” and “Physiognomy: the Forgotten Science of telling Personality from the Face”
Contact Lauren (via email) for your next social, professional, corporate, museum, or festival event, or to send your photos for a portrait from the peace of your own home.
- Association for Living History Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM)
- American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)
- MidWest Open Air Museums Coordinating Council (MOMCC)
- Registered as a Federal Contractor to the United States government (“CCR” /”SAM” registry)
- Registered in many states, cities, and parks as an approved vendor
- A woman-owned small business
2013 – inclusion in the Directory of Traditional Crafts, Early American Life magazine
2014 – inclusion in the Directory of Traditional Crafts, Early American Life magazine
2014 – nominated for Martha Stewart’s American Made
2014 – appointed as chair of the professional interest group “Programs, Interpretation, and Education” at the international Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums