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Affectionately Yours: American Miniature Portraits and the Stories They Tell 

When: Thu., Feb. 14 2013
If the tiny giraffe in that DirecTV commercial wasn’t enough to solidify the argument that miniature things are far more enjoyable than their normal-sized counterparts, then allow Cheekwood to weigh in on it this month. Opening on Valentine’s Day, the museum’s newest exhibition features more than 110 miniature portraits from the collection of Raymond and Linda White. The intimate paintings, dating from the 18th through the early 20th century, tell the cherished stories of family ties, individual achievement and bygone lovers. This mesmerizing tradition of portraiture found its footing in European antiquity before making its way to America, where it gained popularity among people from varying socioeconomic backgrounds. Measuring merely inches tall, the keepsakes were given as gifts or tokens of affection intended to be held in the palm of the hand and easily transported. If you’re looking for an affordable Valentine’s date that’ll make her go “aww” more times than you can count, you are certainly in luck this year.
— Sara Estes

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