Main content

Making the Renaissance Manuscript

Discoveries from Philadelphia Libraries
  • Opening
"Master B.F.,” Decorated letter P from the Santi Angelo e Niccolò at Villanova Sillaro choirbooks; Lombardy, ca. 1500. The Free Library of Philadelphia, Lewis E M 76:52
"Master B.F.,” Decorated letter P from the Santi Angelo e Niccolò at Villanova Sillaro choirbooks; Lombardy, ca. 1500. The Free Library of Philadelphia, Lewis E M 76:52

On exhibit February 10-May 19, 2020

Occurring in conjunction with the 2020 annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Philadelphia (April 2–4, 2020), this exhibition will examine the making of the hand-written and hand-illuminated book during a time of great political, religious, and technological transformation in Europe. Through approximately forty loans from ten regional institutions, as well another forty items from Penn’s own collections, the exhibition will examine the full intellectual and artistic depth of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries through a varied selection of extraordinary manuscripts, cuttings, and incunables, many of which have never before been exhibited.

A first section, "Crafting the Codex," will introduce the visitor to the patrons and collectors that were so often the genesis of these books, while conveying the role of humanist scribes and decorators in establishing aesthetic conventions that continue to this day. A middle section, "Showcasing Salvation," will vividly demonstrate the astonishing variety of artistic and codicological solutions devised to illustrate the increasingly complex rituals of private and public devotion. The final and largest section, entitled "Transmitting Knowledge," will showcase the intellectual world of the Renaissance by examining the re-birth of classical scholarship, the rise of a liberal arts curriculum, the growth of the mercantile class, and the exploration of new geographic frontiers.

The exhibition will provide an ideal opportunity to showcase the wonderfully diverse collections of Philadelphia institutions, as well as the research discoveries made during the course of the Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis regional cataloguing and digitization project.

A fully illustrated scholarly catalogue, written by curator Dr. Nicholas Herman, will accompany the exhibition. 368 pages, 8.5 x 11, full color pbk. The catalogue may be pre-ordered here for shipment in February or here for pick up at the February 11th event.


Join us on Tuesday, February 11th for our exhibition opening celebration.

Exhibition Opening Celebration

The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, The Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries, and The Philobiblon Club are pleased to invite you to the opening reception and catalogue launch of Making the Renaissance Manuscript: Discoveries from Philadelphia Libraries.

0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0