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Making and Breaking Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

11/17/2016 - 2/11/2017
Organizing institution: Krannert Art Museum at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Primary Curator: Maureen Warren

Both before and after the advent of movable type in Europe, circa 1450, artists created hand-drawn and hand-embellished scrolls, books, and maps. In Western Europe during the Middle Ages, manuscript ornamentation became a flourishing art form, enriching secular and sacred items alike. Making and Breaking Medieval Manuscripts brings together a selection of works that are owned in whole or in part by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including items in the Krannert Art Museum collection and items housed at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, and the Newberry Library in Chicago. The exhibition showcases Western European manuscripts from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries and examines issues associated with the production of illuminations and other decorations, patronage, owner additions and modifications, the impact of printing technologies, the reuse of parchment, book breaking, and the legacy of the self-professed “biblioclast” Otto F. Ege. [Co-curators: Maureen Warren, Curator of European and American Art and Anna Chen, Rare Book & Manuscript Library Curator]

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