Display in the Department of Special Collections.

The Department of Special Collections and the Kohler Art Library are proud to announce two exhibits this January, highlighting the history of Bibles, and other religious texts, through the centuries. The displays are designed to complement the beautiful “Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible,” exhibit through the Chazen Museum of Art.

“Chapter and Verse” in Special Collections explores the close association of the Bible and related texts with print culture (and, more broadly, book culture). On display in Special Collections are examples from the late medieval period through the 20th century showing the organization of such texts and their ornamentation.

Department of Special Collections Display.

“Some of these books were intended for an elite readership; others, for a much larger audience,” says Robin Rider, curator of Special Collections. “Small volumes or large, well equipped with erudition or simplified for beginning readers, in a variety of languages, typeset or rendered in manuscript, handsome or otherwise — the array invites re-examination of the familiar and canonical.”

Jill Rosenshield, associate curator of Special Collections, selected titles for the exhibit, working with Special Collections students Eric Ely and Sam Hurwitz.

The Kohler Art Library is hosting an exhibit, curated by Art History graduate students, drawing on extensive collection of facsimiles of illuminated manuscripts . The “Scripture Transfigured: Visualizing the Christian Bible from the Sixth to the Fifteenth Century” exhibition presents ten facsimiles of medieval European manuscripts from the Kohler Art Library containing selections of Biblical texts and images. These include individual books of the Bible, such as the Apocalypse and the Gospels, as well as books that present Biblical texts in the order of the liturgical year, such as Lectionaries and Benedictionals.

Display at Kohler Art Library.
Display at Kohler Art Library.

“Facsimiles such as these form a study collection that directly supports undergraduate learning and graduate research,” says Lynette Korenic with the Kohler Art Library. “They are valuable resources that provide readers the opportunity to examine the illumination, lettering, and content of original manuscripts that are visually and historically important, but not readily available. By collaborating with other campus units, we are able to provide opportunities for students to work creatively with our extraordinary collections.”

The Kohler Art Library exhibition was curated by five Art History graduate students working with Professor Thomas Dale, including Ashley Cook, Peter Bovenmyer, Daniel Cochran, Mark Summers, and Matthew Westerby.

The exhibit in Kohler Art Library runs December 19, 2014 – March 15, 2015. The exhibit in Special Collections runs January 12, 2015 – April 3, 2015.