Thursday, October 27, 2011

Illuminated Manuscript project on display at Fitzgerald Library

Jeunesse Rutledge
Aaron Henry
In conjunction with the completion of the handwritten St. John’s Bible in Collegeville, Minn., Fitzgerald Library now has on display handwritten pages and drawings of Bible verses completed by Saint Mary’s students.

Dr. Christian Michener’s students in the Lasallian Honors Program were asked to choose a few verses from the Psalms and compose their own “Kells” page, based on the original Book of Kells, a 9th century Irish illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels.

Students had several weeks of practice to learn the calligraphy, and then — through careful measuring, some research and imagination, a little tracing, and hours of their own effort (and frustration) — managed to produce their own version of a page of the book, copying as best they could the decorative Celtic style of the original Kells.

It wasn’t easy, but it was admittedly easier than the monks’ efforts: their lapis lazuli, a brilliant blue, arrived from Afghanistan, whereas that of the students came in packages of magic marker.

The display runs through the semester and can be seen on the main floor of the Fitzgerald Library near the reference librarian’s desk.