Archive for the ‘Pen and Parchment’ Category

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Writing History

The Compendium of History through the Genealogy of Christ

Above: The Compendium of History through the Genealogy of Christ (detail). Peter of Poitiers. England, 13th century. Anonymous Lender.

Many histories written in the Middle Ages include the hand of God in the workings of historical events. Certainly a Compendium roll shown in the exhibition (see detail above) and another at The Cloisters fit this model. The history of the world it presents is organized around what its Christian author would have considered the inevitable and culminating event of the birth of Christ. Read more »

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Medieval Library

Battle Scene

Above: Battle Scene. From Book of Maccabees I. Saint Gall, Switzerland, second half of 9th–early 10th century. Universiteitsbibliotheek, Leiden, Cod. Perizoni F.17.

I have often been struck by the ways in which monastic libraries have enthusiastically embraced modern technologies. The monks at Mount Sinai, for instance, have been on the forefront of using digital technology to record their holdings. Closer to home, the monks at Hill Monastic Library in Minnesota continue to preserve microfilm copies of manuscripts from around the world. In both instances, these institutions are continuing the monastic tradition of preserving knowledge. Read more »

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Join the Discussion

Welcome to the Pen and Parchment blog. The exhibition will be on view at the Metropolitan Museum through August 23, 2009. From now until then, some of us who worked on the exhibition will be writing weekly posts about selected works of art featured in the exhibition, discussing themes that we find interesting, and responding to your comments and questions. (See About This Blog for more information about submitting comments.) Read more »