Monday, January 11, 2016

The St. John's Bible- Genesis-Getting started

A very special Bible project 
was undertaken by St. John's University-
 Collegeville, MN.
It is the first commissioned,
 hand illustrated Bible 
project in over 500 years.
In mid- Dec, we were able 
to see the current display
 at the Biggs Museum in Dover, DE.
 Here is what the exhibit is:

"The Biggs Museum of American Art
 is exceptionally proud 
to be a rare American host of Illuminating the Word, 
The Saint John’s Bible. This international exhibition 
features 70 pages of The Saint John’s Bible, the 
first monumental hand-illuminated bible to be 
commissioned by a Benedictine monastery
 in over 500 years. 
Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, 
commissioned the enormous art project of an entire 
hand-painted bible: every word, every illustration,
 every image, from one of the best-known contemporary
 scribes and illuminators in the world, Donald Jackson. 
The artist’s team worked for almost fifteen years 
to adorn each vellum page of The Saint John’s Bible 
in the manner that medieval monks created bibles 
before the invention of the printing press: quill and ink. 
These inspiring accomplishments will be accompanied 
by a display of tools, materials and artists’ drafts used
 in the Bible’s creation along with other examples
 of historical illuminated books and manuscripts 
from the collection of Saint John’s University 
and private collectors. The exhibition will be 
accompanied by several educational tours, 
lectures and artist workshops 
for all skill levels honoring the ancient traditions
 of book arts."

I have decided to use these beautiful 
drawings for my meditation time this January.

"Marginalia, any writing or decorations found 
in the margins of a manuscript, was common in
 medival and renaissance manuscripts. 
Often the scribe or artist would 
personalize the manuscript 
by drawing fanciful decorations 
in the borders of a page. 
Later readers might make a note on the text, 
as many people do when using a textbook.
The marginalia found throughout 
The St. John's bible is decorative 
and enhances the aesthetic 
pleasure of the volumes."

For example - the butterfly and thistle 
are common in the Collegeville area 
and throughout Minnesota.
Other examples of flora and fauna are sprinkled 
throughout the volumes, and these visual elements 
ground the volumes geographically
 in north-central United States. 
(excerpts from display info)

I will be telling more right here 
about this amazing Bible- stay tuned.

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