Woman Creates Handmade Tiny Art Museum With Reptilian Art for Her Pet Gecko


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jill Young (@jillisyoung) on

Earlier this month, we introduced you to a London-based couple (curator Filippo Lorenzin and artist Marianna Benetti) in quarantine who built a miniature art museum for their pet gerbils. The cute, handmade creation sparked plenty of attention online, but it also caught the eye of Dallas-based actor Jill Young, who was inspired to create her own version for her 5-year-old crested gecko, aka The Mayor.

Housed in a painted cardboard box, Young’s tiny “Gecko Museum” is currently showing a themed exhibition, featuring reptilian twists on famous artworks. Similar to the Gerbil Museum, the DIY show displays Young’s hand-painted remakes of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring and Edvard Munch’s The Scream. Young also put her own unique additions on display, including American Gecko, a nod to Grant Wood’s American Gothic; a version of Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Red, Blue, and Yellow, complete with a lizard silhouette; and Birth of Gecko, a gecko version of Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.

“The Mayor has a refined and eclectic taste,” says Young. “I wanted to cover a range of art genres and pieces in hopes of winning his respect.” Luckily, Young’s hard work paid off and The Mayor seemed to enjoy the opening night. Young recalls, “The Mayor was particularly fond of my ‘American Gothic’ spoof, ‘American Gecko.’ I guess he’s in an American Modernism phase.”

Young also built a red “velvet” rope from string, in the hopes that she could separate The Mayor from the artwork. However, just like the gerbils, he had no problem breaking the rules. “Initially I’d hoped that the velvet ropes would discourage The Mayor from climbing on the paintings, but he pretty immediately climbed under them,” says Young. “I now understand that The Mayor’s relationship to art is a necessarily tactile one, which I can appreciate.”

Young hopes her creation will inspire other pet owners to follow suit, as she believes, “Every pet deserves a cultural outing.” For those who are DIY-inclined, you can follow Young’s making process via a video she posted on TikTok. However, if you need a little help, you can also buy a Gecko Museum printable kit on Young’s Etsy shop.

Check out Young’s Gecko Museum below.

Dallas-based actor Jill Young created a miniature museum for her 5-year-old crested gecko, aka The Mayor.

She was inspired by a London-based couple who built a similar museum for their pet gerbils.

Jill Young: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
h/t: [Hyperallergic]

All images via Jill Young.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, My Modern Met may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Related Articles:

Bored Couple in Quarantine Builds a Tiny Art Museum for Their Pet Gerbils

Two Determined Cats Keep Trying to Sneak Into This Japanese Art Museum

6 of the Best Modern Art Museums in the World

Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content