See Tiny Paper Keepsakes of a Giantess

Patty Grazini paper sculpture
Detail of the seven-foot-tall paper sculpture on display inside Curtis Steiner Gallery in Ballard through the end of December

A visit to Curtis Steiner’s store can be like stepping through the wardrobe, or falling down the rabbit hole, or entering any other parallel universe that is equally alluring, mysterious and beautiful. Steiner populates his Ballard shop with quirky, haunting ephemera for the home; true conversation starters, object d’art, amazing, meticulous, tiny hand-beaded jewelry and antiques.

Now Steiner is hosting The Life of the Giantess, an art exhibit by Seattle-based paper sculptor Patty Grazini, who stumbled upon her subject, Russian giantess Elizabeth Lyska, while researching an article about Barnum’s American Museum (if you liked Stacy Carlson's historical fiction Among the Wonderful, you'll probably like this show - and vice versa!).

Inspired by Lyska’s life, who was famous during the 1880’s not just for her height, which was 7’2”, but also for her great beauty, Grazini’s show features a full-size paper version of the giantess as well as “the many relics, toys, and keepsakes that she accumulated over her life: a ring and key that were given to her by an Austrian baron, a bouquet of roses that were named after her, a locket containing a picture of her parents.” All painstakingly recreated in paper.

The exhibit is on display through December 3 at Curtis Steiner Gallery (5349 Ballard Avenue NW; After that, any unsold portion of the collection will be on display and for sale through the end of December.