Monday, April 2, 2012

Lover's Eyes at the Birmingham Museum of Art

The Look of Love Exhibit, at the Birmingham Museum of Art , showcases a collection of antique lover's eyes collected over the years by a couple from Birmingham. 

I have written before about Lover's Eye's here, and continue to be intrigued by them.
 I became aware of them in the paintings of one of my favorite artists, Fatima Ronquillo.

Fatima has recently completed some new work, adding lover's eyes sometimes boldly, and sometimes in subtle ways, as in the ring of this beautiful creature below.

Fatima's work (and images shown here) can be found at Wally Workman Gallery in Austin.

Lover's eyes are hand painted miniatures of single eyes, given to loved ones as tokens of affection and/or remembrance.

Some sources claim the tradition was inspired by the Prince of Wales when, in 1785, he proposed to Mrs. Maria Fitzherbert, with a miniature of his own eye. 

There are those who believe otherwise.
 Read more on the website of Candice Hearn, romance novelist, here
She  gives a really interesting history.

The exhibit showcases the collection of ophthamologist , Dr. David Skier and his wife,  Nan, of Birmingham. 

The couple began collecting these little gems when they stumbled upon a lover's eye at an antique show in Boston. 
They were captivated by it and the rest is history, as they say!

To learn more about the origin of Lover's Eyes,  check out the Five Minute Museum

If you live anywhere near Birmingham, Alabama, check out the exhibit for me!


  1. I've never come across one of these beauties at an antique show. I imagine they must get snapped up pretty quickly when they come on the market. Fatima's paintings have great charm — you've reminded me to revisit her site as an early-morning treat to myself!

  2. So fascinating!!
    It is always amazing to discover new things.
    Thanks for this enlightening post nd thank you for your sweet comment today as well!
    You are wonderful !

  3. I have been intriqued by these ever since the first time you introduced me to them.

  4. I'm so sorry I missed the Wally Workmen gallery , I would have LOVED to have seen Fatima's work! F-burg is wonderful! Loved it. It was so much fun getting to meet you.


    I follow the work of this jewelry designer, I just ADORE her necklaces. Can't afford them but they are stunning.


  6. Wow! It was indeed very nice post. Although I must say that those eyes creeps me. Thanks!

  7. Beautiful paintings, the tone, texture and color were made professionally, and also they look similar to medieval paintings.



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