Exhibition

The Look of Love: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection

Exhibition Dates: May 15 - August 24, 2014

Rose gold oval ring surrounded by a blue enamel border containing ten small and two large diamonds enclosed in a border of natural split pearls. Brown left eye. Purchased from Edith Weber, New York. Dimensions: ¾ × 1 ¼ × ⅞ in.

Rose gold oval ring surrounded by a blue enamel border containing ten small and two large diamonds enclosed in a border of natural split pearls. Brown left eye. Purchased from Edith Weber, New York. Dimensions: ¾ × 1 ¼ × ⅞ in.

Lovers’ eye miniatures are small-scale portraits of individual eyes set into various forms of jewelry dating from late 18th to early 19th-century England. A trend that began in the late 18th century with Britain’s young Prince of Wales (later George IV), clandestine lovers exchanged these customized tokens depicting each others’ eyes, as such a feature might only be recognized by persons of the most intimate familiarity. Featuring 98 pieces, the Skier Collection contains both decorative and functional objects from simple lockets to lavish rings, watch keys, and toothpick cases.

View the eye miniatures up close on your iPad with “The Look of Love” app, available free at the iTunes Store. Or borrow an MIA iPad, available in the lobby, Third Avenue entrance.

This exhibition is organized by the Birmingham Museum of Art.