May 27-September 13, 1999

The illuminated manuscript, by definition, is a sumptuously decorated, hand-written artifact of ages unfamiliar with mass production of the printed word. However, it is also a fundamentally paradoxical work of art, for the reason at their best, illuminated manuscripts do not differentiate between image and word. The pictures are not only used to illustrate the narrative, but also to illuminate or embellish the page. And the text, the word itself, becomes and image of exquisite grace and design. There are thirteen stunning manuscripts from the collection of the Lee Library and six from the University of Utah Marriot Library explore the relationship between reading and looking, between illustration and art, not to mention between the word and the image.

 

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