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August 14, 2012

Renowned Calligrapher Donald Jackson Discusses The Saint John's Bible


Handwritten illuminated manuscript is the first complete Bible of its scale since the invention of the printing press

The Saint John's Bible: A Contemporary Illuminated Manuscript

At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center
Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 7:00 p.m.

     

MEDIA CONTACT:                 
Alexandria Sivak
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6473
asivak@getty.edu

   

Revelation 11:7–11:19, 2011. Donald Jackson. © The Saint John's Bible, Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA.


LOS ANGELES—In 1998, Saint John's Abbey and University in Minnesota commissioned calligrapher Donald Jackson to produce a handwritten, hand-illuminated Bible—the first to have been commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey since the invention of the printing press. Completed in 2011, The Saint John's Bible contains calligraphy developed by Jackson himself, as well as lavishly decorated pages created by contemporary artists. On September 5, Jackson will visit the Getty Center to discuss the historical influences and techniques that informed his project and how the process provided insights into the work of the past. The lecture complements the exhibition The Art of Devotion in the Middle Ages, on view August 28, 2012–February 3, 2013 at the Getty Center.

The Saint John’s Bible is divided into seven volumes, has 160 illuminations, and cost $4 million to produce. Collaborating with a team of scholars, theologians, calligraphers and illuminators, Jackson used a mixture of techniques to create the Bible, including text handwritten with goose and turkey quills on calf-skin vellum, gold and platinum leaf, hand-ground pigments and Chinese stick ink. Computers and digital fonts were used to plan the layout of the Bible. The original Bible and high-quality prints are currently touring various cities across the United States.

“When I was 14 years old I was thrown out of an art museum for whistling in the public galleries,” says Jackson.  “But I’d already caught the magic of the illuminated texts I saw there, and my life was changed by them. My presentation will help audiences better understand the creation of these complex works of art.”

In addition to the lecture, the course Illuminated Bibles Then and Now will also be offered on September 5. The course explores the history, significance, and making of illuminated Bibles and religious books. Activities include:

PRESENTATIONS

The Saint John's Bible Story
Tim Ternes, Director of The Saint John's Bible

Igniting the Spiritual Imagination: A Monk's Perspective
Father Eric Hollas, Order of Saint Benedict 

Illuminated Religious Books in the Middle Ages
Elizabeth Morrison, curator, Department of Manuscripts, J. Paul Getty Museum 

BREAK-OUT SESSIONS

Calligraphy demonstration with Diane von Arx, scribe and artist of The Saint John's Bible

Guided tour of the exhibition The Art of Devotion in the Middle Ages

Viewing of The Saint John's Bible Heritage Edition



Isaiah 53, 2005. Donald Jackson. © The Saint John's Bible, Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA.



The Saint John's Bible: A Contemporary Illuminated Manuscript
Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center
Admission: Free; reservations recommended. Call (310) 440-7300 or visit the event site and click “Make Reservation.”


Illuminated Bibles Then and Now
Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Time: 1:00–6:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Research Institute Lecture Hall, Getty Center
Admission: $30; reservations recommended. Call (310) 440-7300 or visit the event site and click “Make Reservation” to purchase tickets.


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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations:  the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, and photographs gathered internationally. The Museum's mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.

Visiting the Getty Center
From June 1–September 21, 2012, the Getty Center is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Monday and major holidays. Admission to the Getty Center is always free. Parking is $15 per car, but reduced to $10 after 5 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and for evening events throughout the week. No reservation is required for parking or general admission. Reservations are required for event seating and groups of 15 or more. Please call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish) for reservations and information. The TTY line for callers who are deaf or hearing impaired is (310) 440-7305. The Getty Center is at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California.

Additional information is available at www.getty.edu.
Sign up for e-Getty at www.getty.edu/subscribe to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit www.getty.edu for a complete calendar of public programs.

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