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From Gas Stations to Chapels, an Entire Town Done in Mini

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Presented at this year's Venice Art Biennale: the fastidious work of Austrian insurance clerk-turned-miniatures maven Peter Fritz. In 1993, artist Oliver Croy unearthed the 387 parcels of provincial architecture—an encyclopedic array of bank buildings, farmhouses, fabric stores, gas stations, and more—wrapped neatly in trash bags in a Viennese junk shop. Now, two decades later, with the help of architecture critic Oliver Elser, Croy curated the collection, appropriately named "The Encyclopedic Palace," for the Biennale's 55th exhibition. According to Design Boom, the pieces of The 387 Houses of Peter Fritz, much like the work of other devout miniaturists, are made of common-enough materials: matchboxes, wallpaper scraps, adhesive foil, and magazine pages. So what's the story behind Fritz, the curiously clandestine hobbyist? Sadly, the vigilante craftsman himself has passed, and the story behind his creations remain a mystery. Here's hoping the exposure in Venice and online will trigger one of his old friends or relatives to come forward with the full story. For now, though, find more photos below.

· The 387 Houses of Peter Fritz at the Venice Art Biennale [Design Boom]
· All Artistry posts [Curbed National]