There was the Word

A stunning artifact is on display at the Biggs Museum of American Art through March 27.


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The exhibition opened Dec. 4, but it bears another mention: The Biggs Museum of American Art is exceptionally proud to be a rare American host of “Illuminating the Word, The Saint John’s Bible.” The 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 more than 500 years. Saint John’s University in 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 15 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: by using quill and ink. These inspiring accomplishments are 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—that honor the ancient traditions of book arts. The exhibition continues through March 27. For more, see www.biggsmuseum.org.    

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