Promotional Partner: KERA
When British author Jessie Burton’s New York Times–bestselling debut novel, The Miniaturist, premiered as a three-part series on PBS Masterpiece, it brought 17th-century Dutch culture vividly to life. At this event, Burton will share insights about her novel, and Susie Rogers and Kevin Mulvany, who trained as art historians, will discuss their creative process in making the miniatures used in the television series.
The Guardian hails the novel as “[a] fabulously gripping read that will appeal to fans of Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Goldfinch, but Burton is a genuinely new voice with her visceral take on sex, race and class.” In 1686, Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of merchant trader Johannes Brandt, who is kind yet distant.
Nella’s life unexpectedly changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish it, she engages the services of a miniaturist, an enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie ways. Johannes’s gift helps Nella pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its secrets, she begins to understand—and fear—the escalating dangers around them. It is a story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
6:30 p.m. Enjoy a tour of 17th-century Dutch still-life paintings and other decorative arts that resonate with themes in The Miniaturist.