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College of St. Catherine: ‘Saint John’s Bible’ at Murphy Gallery


The exhibition, “Divine Words, Inspired Art: Prints from The Saint John’s Bible,” is now on view in the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery through Oct. 28.

“The Saint John’s Bible” is the first handwritten illuminated bible produced since the 16th century. This exhibition of 31 framed giclee prints is the largest to date and includes never-before-seen illustrations from the most recently completed volume, “Wisdom Books.”

Giclee prints are individually-produced, high–resolution reproductions done on special large format printers from digital scans.

One of only a few hand-written, illuminated Bibles created since the 16th century, “The Saint John’s Bible” was commissioned by Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minn., to celebrate the scripture, revive and learn about the ancient tradition of handwritten manuscripts and inspire believers around the world.

Saint John’s University turned to Donald Jackson, an internationally renowned calligrapher and scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office at the House of Lords, to create the manuscript.

Jackson used the tools and materials employed by scribes more than a thousand years ago. Calligraphy and illustrations were done with quill pens on vellum with natural handmade inks and hand ground pigments as well as gold and silver leaf. He was assisted by a team of calligraphers and illuminators.

Scheduled to be completed in 2009, the finished work will contain more than 1,100 pages with 160 illuminations in seven volumes.

The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery is located in the Visual Arts Building on the College’s St. Paul campus, 2004 Randolph Ave. Regular hours are Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday, noon–6 p.m. For more information, call (651) 690-6644.

The “Divine Words, Inspired Art: Prints from The Saint John’s Bible” exhibition is sponsored by the Myser Initiative on Catholic Identity and is supported by the College’s S. Mona Riley Endowed Chair of Humanities, Friends of the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery, Friends of the College of St. Catherine Libraries and the College of St. Catherine Alumnae Association.

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