Illuminating the Word: The St. John's Bible

October 6–December 30, 2006

This exhibition is devoted to a single work of art, an illuminated, handwritten Bible commissioned by Saint John's University and Abbey in Minnesota. This contemporary Bible is at once old and new: a masterpiece of the ancient crafts of calligraphy and illumination that could only be made by artists of today. This unique undertaking combines a centuries-old tradition of craftsmanship with the latest capabilities of computer technology and electronic communication. In addition to the St. John's Bible, this installation includes several priceless volumes from the Library's collection of 1500 printed Bibles housed in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. The works on display cover more than five centuries and illustrate a wide range of formats, printing, and artistic achievements.

The exhibition at the Library of Congress was made possible by the Allbritton Foundation. It was organized by The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Saint John's University; the exhibition and its national tour are made possible by Target.