Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible exhibition


Due to popular demand, the Biggs Museum of American Art today announced that it will extend Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible exhibition through April 24, 2016. The exhibition was originally scheduled to end on March 27, 2016.
The Saint John’s Bible is a one-of-a-kind modern masterpiece of old-world calligraphy and contemporary art, created over fifteen years by the world’s finest craftspeople. Art lovers, admirers of fine crafts and religious devotees alike will be captivated by this exhibit of 70 original pages from the Bible, which is written on calfskin and decorated by hand, making it the first illuminated Bible, commissioned by a Benedictine order, since the invention of the printing press. In addition to extending the exhibition end date, the Biggs Museum will host one of the 26 artists from the project, Suzanne Moore, on March 5, 2016*.
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“The exhibition has been a very popular one, particularly for school and other tour groups. The almost unanimous feedback we get when people visit the exhibit is that you simply must see it in person to comprehend the scope and beauty of the project,” shared Biggs Museum Director Charles Guerin. “We are pleased to be able to keep the exhibit for an additional month, giving the public an opportunity to take advantage of this rare chance to see original pages from the world renowned Saint John’s Bible in person.”
Pages from The Saint John’s Bible have never been to Delaware or our region before, and they may never come again. The 70 pages included in the Illuminating the Word exhibition span all 7 volumes of The Saint John’s Bible. This is the first time pages from all 7 volumes have been on display together. This massive book-art project took an international group of artists and biblical scholars 15 years to complete and is being displayed in an exhibition before the pages of this book are bound forever.
Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, commissioned the enormous art project of an entire hand-written and illuminated Bible: every word, every artwork, every image, from one of the best-known contemporary scribes and illuminators in the world, Donald Jackson. He is considered one of the most famous and skilled western world scribes.
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Mr. Jackson led a team of international scribes and artists who worked for almost fifteen years to adorn each of the 1,130 vellum page of The Saint John’s Bible using the same tools and materials that medieval monks used to create Bibles before the invention of the printing press: quill and ink. These inspiring accomplishments will be accompanied by a display of tools, materials and artists’ drafts used in the Bible’s creation at the Biggs Museum December 2015-April 24, 2016.
Don’t miss the exhibit that Smithsonian Magazine calls “One of the extraordinary undertakings of our time.”
Programming and Tours
Ruth the Gleaner, Ruth 2:1-23, Suzanne Moore, artist and Sue Hufton, scribe, Copyright 2010,

The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Minnesota USA.
*Event Quick Facts:
Suzanne Moore: An Artist of The Saint John’s Bible
Saturday, March 5, 2016 | 2 p.m.
Price: Free with admission
One of only two American artists chosen to create illuminations for The Saint John’s Bible, Vashon Island (Washington) resident, Suzanne Moore, worked on this “Bible for the 21st century” over a span of 10 years, beginning in 2001.  Challenged by creative director Donald Jackson to develop images unlike any seen before, Moore worked closely with the Committee on Illumination & Text at Saint John’s Abbey and University to develop original illuminations of extraordinary beauty and power.  Moore’s presentation will offer insights into the approach, creative process and techniques she used as a contributor to this modern-day Bible.
Additionally, The Saint John’s Bible: Illuminating the Word exhibition has been accompanied by a variety of popular “Creator Space” workshops and lectures as well as free drop-in children’s activities. Themes for the activities coordinate with themes from The Saint John’s Bible including tempera painting, calligraphy, illustration, book making, illumination and more. The Biggs Museum also offers specialized docent led tours for both schools and adults.