The new year may be all about fresh starts and future plans, but bibliophiles and history buffs might prefer a backward glance, with a particular focus on the beautiful manuscripts of the past thousand years. Several institutions are currently or will soon feature major exhibitions of illuminated manuscripts for your viewing pleasure. Here's the scoop on where and when.
In New York, three exhibitions rise to the top. At the Morgan Library, Now and Forever: The Art of Medieval Time (January 26-April 29) puts the spotlight on manuscripts from the eleventh to the sixteenth centuries in order to explore "how people told time in the Middle Ages and what they thought about it." Les Enluminures will host two different exhibitions in the early part of the year. The first, Manuscripts of the Middle Ages, runs January 22-27 (in case you're in town for Bibliography Week). The second, Talking at the Court, on the Street, in the Bedroom: Vernacular Manuscripts of the Middle Ages (February 23-March 16), features thirty-six manuscripts that "provide viewers unique access to the authentic, spontaneous vision of people in medieval France, Italy, Germany, the Low Countries, and Britain."
Speaking of Les Enluminures, founder Sandra Hindman's private collection will go on display at the Art Institute of Chicago in an exhibition titled The Medieval World at Our Fingertips: Manuscript Illuminations from the Collection of Sandra Hindman (January 27-May 28). The exhibition covers four hundred years of manuscript illumination in thirty miniatures from choir books, books of hours, and religious texts.
If on the West Coast, the Getty Museum will showcase Outcasts: Prejudice and Persecution in the Medieval World (January 30-April 8), an exhibition that aims to "provide glimpses of the marginalized and powerless" in medieval manuscripts.
Later in the year, two more exhibitions will be unveiled. The University of Michigan Museum of Art will host In Focus: Illuminated Manuscript (April 17-August 19), while the British Library plans to roll out a star-studded exhibition on Anglo Saxon Kingdoms on October 19 that will bring together the Codex Amiatinus, the St. Cuthbert Gospel, and the Lindisfarne Gospels.
Be sure to check our exhibits calendar for further updates and additions.
Images: Top: Collection of Medical Recipes and Health Regimens, including Receptes de plusieurs expers medecins consernantes diverse malladies (Recipes of Several Great Physicians Concerning Various Maladies), compiled by FRAN?OIS II DE ROHAN; et alia. In French and Latin (with additions in Italian), illuminated manuscript on parchment. France (Lyon?), c. 1515-1525. Courtesy of Les Enluminures. Bottom: "The Crucifixion," probably 1170s, creator unknown. German. Tempera colors, gold leaf, silver leaf, and ink on parchment. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 64, fol. 86.