Devonshire resident Mickey Kaplan

The essence of character

“When I saw this beautiful apartment, I knew I could live here,” says Mickey Kaplan, who moved to Devonshire from Old Port Cove, Florida, two years ago.  

Known professionally as Muriel, Mickey enjoys a national reputation as a sculptor. She’s exhibited and earned awards in numerous venues and has work in a number of collections. This January, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County mounted a one-woman retrospective of her 70 years as a sculptor. 

Mickey also collects art and displays it in her living room gallery. The white walls, floors, and ceiling form a neutral canvas for paintings and sculptures by artists she admires, as well as a few of her own pieces. The room even functions as a workspace where her subjects come for sittings. 

When Mickey sculpts a portrait, she doesn’t stop with creating a likeness. She aims to catch the subject’s essence and elevate the person’s features to the realm of art.

People express character in what she calls “the rhythm of the ripples of the muscles, the planes of the forehead and cheeks. I wish to accentuate [those] so others can see and feel them, too.” 

While her busts have captured such luminaries as Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Yitzhak Rabin, one pays homage to Medal of Honor recipient and WWII hero, Capt. David McCampbell of Lake Worth. 

“I sculpted him as an old man,” Mickey says. “Then he lent me his uniform and asked me to walk him back to make him look like a young man.”  

Last October, the bust was placed in the David McCampbell terminal at Palm Beach International Airport.

Mickey Kaplan