Sacred Words: The Saint John's Bible and the Art of Illumination

at Oklahoma City Museum of Art
October 15, 2016 - January 8, 2017

Experience the first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in the modern era. “Sacred Words: The Saint John’s Bible and the Art of Illumination,” will include 70 selected folios from the Bible as well as other historical illuminated manuscripts like Book of Hours, pages from the Quran and Torah scrolls.

It was created by a team of 23 artisans under the artistic direction of Donald Jackson, one of the world’s foremost calligraphers and scribe to Queen Elizabeth II’s Crown office at the House of Lords. The Bible incorporates many of the characteristics of its medieval predecessors: it is written on vellum, using quills, natural inks, hand-ground pigments and gold leaf gilding. For a modern twist, this edition employs a modern English translation along with beautifully painted illuminations that interpret biblical passages in contemporary terms.

This exhibition, open through Jan. 8, 2017, will examine the revival of a millennia-old tradition of meticulous craftsmanship that incorporates advances in modern technology.

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