Close ×
Close ×

    Why are you visiting the Rubin website today?

    Choose the option that best describes the reason.

  • What is this?

    We’re always looking for ways to improve our site, so we want to know why you’re here and how we can help you find the information you need. Thanks for your help!

Done. Thank you!

The Rubin Research

Illuminate master

Illuminated

The Art of Sacred Books

Exhibition
April 6 – September 3, 2012

Gold, silver, and other precious materials were often used to adorn objects of religious devotion, especially the sacred books of the living traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, and Islam. Materials used to produce them have always been of the best quality worthy of sacred texts, and their effectiveness often rested on the measure of their lavish production.

Specifically, the exhibition Illuminated: The Art of Sacred Books explores the aesthetic and technological approaches used in creating and adorning sacred books from a variety of cultures and presents Tibetan sacred books in a broad cross-cultural context. Among featured objects are several never before displayed illuminated Tibetan manuscript pages and complete books dating as early as the 13th century written in gold and silver on dark blue and black paper of various sizes in the traditional Tibetan book format.

Through an in-depth examination of the comparable attitudes found in the presented objects, the exhibition provides new insights into what is known as the culture of the book. Other highlights from the exhibition include a bifolio of the famous “Blue Qur’an,” written in gold on indigo colored velum in Tunisia between the 9th and 10th centuries; a Japanese Buddhist Sutra scroll written in gold on indigo paper in 1720; medieval Gospels written in gold letters on blue and purple parchment; illuminated pages of Jain Sutras; and illustrated Indian Hindu classics.

In addition to these various lavishly decorated books of different faiths, created in diverse formats and materials, the exhibition also includes adorned book covers that are painted, carved from wood, and made of leather or silver repoussé as well as other objects, designated as sacred and recognized for their value as both art and devotional objects.

Curated by Elena Pakhoutova and Agnieszka Helman-Wazny


Exhibition Resources


    Special Resources


      Send Your Comments

      Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this site until the Rubin has approved them.

      Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
      zoom