The Book as Art: Sacred Texts
(From Book of Hours, 1503; image courtesy of Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives)
The focus of the exhibit was on Christian, Buddhist, and Islamic texts and their artistic aspects. The art work of these beautifully bound books and elaborately illuminated scripts is extraordinarily unique. Most pieces are from the Nettie Hale Rand Collection and the Sam Fleming Bible Collection -- both collections part of Vanderbilt University's Special Collections and University Archives.
- a folio page from the 1611 King James Bible, in celebration of the 400th Anniversary of this important translation;
- the Lord's Prayer, published by Gutenberg-Museum Mainz, one of the smallest books in the world and readable with a magnifying glass;
- a most fascinating painting of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, painted on the fore-edge of a Book of Common Prayer from 1751.
These is just a sampling of the attractive books in the exhibit.
The exhibit was in the round atrium and by the entrance of the Reference Room in the Divinity Library. It was prepared by Charlotte Lew, with assistance and advice from Henry Shipman of Special Collections and Celia Walker, Director of Special Projects for the library.