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Treasures from England's Bodleian Library at The Jewish Museum
Friday Sep 14 2012 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The Jewish Museum
1109 5th Ave
The Jewish Museum
Rich Medieval Culture Revealed in Exhibition of Rare Illuminated Manuscripts from England's Bodleian Library at Oxford University
Many Treasures Shown for the First Time in the U.S.
Exhibition Tells Story of Cultural Interaction Among Jews, Muslims, and Christians
England's Bodleian Library at Oxford University, established by Sir Thomas Bodley in 1602 and now the largest of the University's group of 'Bodleian Libraries', is renowned for its great treasures. Among them is one of the most important collections of medieval Hebrew illuminated manuscripts in the world. The Jewish Museum will present Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries from September 14, 2012 through February 3, 2013. This exhibition will feature over 60 works - Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts - the majority of which have never been seen in the United States. Several paintings and printed books will also be on view.
Included will be the splendid Kennicott Bible, the most lavishly illuminated Hebrew Bible to survive from medieval Spain, as well as two works in the hand of Maimonides, one of the most prominent Jewish philosophers and rabbinic authorities. This presentation showcases a selection from the Bodleian's superb holdings within the larger context of the history of medieval Christian Hebraism - the study by Christian scholars of the Hebrew Bible and rabbinic sources, which first received full expression in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. As Protestantism took hold in the sixteenth century, Hebraist trends resurged, sparking interest in the collecting of Hebrew books, and propelling the formation of the Bodleian's outstanding Hebraica collection.
In addition to viewing the actual illuminated manuscript, visitors will be able to look at digital images of every page of the Kennicott Bible and examine details on touchscreens in the exhibition gallery and on the Museum's website. Visitors will also be able to see images of several additional page openings for seven other manuscripts in Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries.
This exhibition is based on Crossing Borders: Hebrew Manuscripts as a Meeting-place of Cultures co-curated by Piet van Boxel and Sabine Arndt for The Bodleian Library. The New York City presentation has been organized by The Jewish Museum's Curator Claudia Nahson.
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