The Birmingham Museum of Art is pleased to debut The Look of Love for the Apple iPad. Visitors can use this app in the Museum, and a nationwide audience can download it, free of charge, through the Apple App Store.
The app was created to support The Look of Love: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection, an exhibition curated by Graham C. Boettcher, PhD, the William Cary Hulsey Curator of American Art at the Museum, and the first major exhibition of lover’s eye jewelry, on display at the Museum from February 7 – June 10, 2012.
Lover’s eyes are hand-painted miniatures of single human eyes set in jewelry and given as tokens of affection or of mourning, created in England during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The diminutive size of the precious objects – many are less than an inch wide – begs for closer examination by the viewer, but the delicate nature of the jewelry and inlaid watercolors require them to be displayed in cases under glass. The iPad app allows visitors to see these tiny, intricate objects at up to twenty times their actual size. They may also view images of the backs of objects, many of which are adorned with human hairwork, enamel decoration, or personal inscriptions commemorating a love or loss.