Eye Miniatures


The stolen glance, the perfumed note, the pulse-quickening moment in passing: Whatever one’s opinion of the digital age, there are aspects of romance that seem permanently relegated to the past (not to decry the value of a well-composed lover’s text, but the pinging iPhone lacks a certain sensuality).

Late 18th- to early 19th-century Brits did their wooing with style—lovers who wanted to keep their passions secret exchanged jewelry with images of one another’s eyes, keepsakes of delicious intimacy and impressive artistry. This exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts includes lockets, rings, and even toothpick cases as a testament to long-gone flames and love’s undying aspects.

Quinton Skinner is a writer and editor based in the Twin Cities. A former senior editor of Minnesota Monthly, he held the same post at Twin Cities METRO and 
has written for major national and local publications. He is the co-founder of Logosphere Storysmiths and author of several novels, including his latest, Odd One Out.