Authors

Jamie Higgs

Document Type

Presentation

Publication Date

12-8-2020

Published In / Presented At

Southeastern College Art Conference

Disciplines

Book and Paper | Illustration | Printmaking

Abstract

Donald Jackson, calligrapher to the Queen of England, envisioned of The St. John’s Bible in 1995; he found a patron in the monks at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. While this manuscript is a product of the twenty-first century, the twelfth-century Winchester Bible served as a model. In The St. John’s Bible: Holding a Mirror Up to Life, I examine how The St. John’s Bible collapses time—the past into the present—opening the viewer to the multilayered complexity of Medieval manuscript production in our modern world. I argue that The St. John’s Bible, the first fully illuminated and hand-written Bible produced since the Middle Ages, creates art that mirrors life. By way of fossils, satellite images, modern disaster and disease, the images of The St. John’s Bible re-frame social, political, and theological issues as significant expressions of mimetic art while exploring the power handwritten script and artfully-produced images still have over the viewer. With its illuminations that mirror life, The St. John’s Bible asks viewers to consider what we are doing to Creation and where that will lead. Will we be able to look ourselves in the mirror?

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