Saturday, September 15, 2012

Story of Cultural Interaction Among Christians, Muslims, and Jews Revealed in Beautifully Illuminated and Historically Important Treasures

The Jewish Museum Offers Digital Visitors Unprecedented Opportunity to View Rare Illuminated Manuscripts from England's Bodleian Library at Oxford University

Story of Cultural Interaction Among Christians, Muslims, and Jews Revealed in Beautifully Illuminated and Historically Important Treasures
New York, NY - In conjunction with the exhibition, Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries, The Jewish Museum is offering its digital visitors two fascinating opportunities to learn about and see high resolution images of the manuscripts.

Detail of Kennicott Bible, scribe: Moses ibn Zabara, artist: Joseph ibn Hayyim, commissioner: Isaac, son of Solomon di Braga, Corunna, Spain, 1476. Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, MS.Kennicott 1, fol. 8a
For the first time ever, all 922 pages of the magnificent Kennicott Bible and its binding will be available online. The Kennicott Bible (1476) is the most lavishly illuminated Hebrew Bible to survive from medieval Spain. Digital visitors may browse through these high resolution images, either viewing a selection of the illuminations or choosing a particular chapter or page. The Kennicott Bible was photographed especially for the exhibition and the web component by noted photographer Ardon Bar-Hama.
Through the exhibition microsite, visitors will be able to see and zoom into images of nearly 100 pages from 41 of the 52 manuscripts in the exhibition and selected images from several printed books and paintings. Audio clips excerpted from the exhibition audio guide accompany selected manuscript pages. The manuscripts and artworks are organized into nine themes: From Roll to Codex; Medieval Hebraism; Islamic Decorative Motifs; Shared Motifs in Christian and Hebrew Books; The Kennicott Bible, a Medieval Masterpiece; Fables from India to Spain and Beyond; Christians, Muslims, and Jews Copy Euclid; Collectors of Hebrew Books; and Sir Thomas Bodley and Queen Elizabeth I. An essay, The Middle Ages Illuminated, by the exhibition's curator Claudia Nahson places the works in context, tracing the story of cultural interaction among Christians, Muslims, and Jews during the Middle Ages, as seen in these rare and precious volumes. This microsite was designed and developed by MESH Architectures which also designed the exhibition installation.

England's Bodleian Library at Oxford University, established by Sir Thomas Bodley in 1602 and now the largest of the University's group of 'Bodleian Libraries', is renowned for its great treasures. Among them is one of the most important collections of medieval Hebrew illuminated manuscripts in the world. The Jewish Museum is presenting Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries from September 14, 2012 through February 3, 2013. This exhibition features over 60 works - Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts - the majority of which have never been seen in the United States. Several paintings and printed books are also on view.
Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries website is made possible by Bloomberg.

The audio guide is produced in association with Acoustiguide.

Kennicott Bible photography and online feature are by Ardon Bar-Hama. In-kind support for these projects is generously provided by George S. Blumenthal.

Exhibition Website (microsite)

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