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The Seven Fruits of Tribulation. Illuminated manuscript on parchment (France, ca. 1490). Les Enluminures, New York.


The Materiality of Medieval Manuscripts 


The Binghamton University Art Museum is pleased to announce an exhibition of rare medieval manuscripts showcasing the history of the pre-modern book. The exhibition features a 13th-century Latin Bible, a 13th-century Psalter, a 15th-century breviary and an early 16th-century printed Book of Hours, among other texts. The manuscripts on exhibit, many of which are beautifully decorated with colors using pigments from specially cultivated plants and semi-precious minerals, illustrate the technologies of book production before the arrival of print in Europe. Each is a unique artifact that attests to the importance of the book in medieval life.

Organized by Marilynn R. Desmond, Distinguished Research Professor of English, General Literature and Rhetoric, the manuscripts on display in this exhibition belong to the prominent bookseller, Les Enluminures, which has lent these codices to Binghamton University for use in the Spring 2022 curriculum. We are especially grateful to Sandra Hindman, founder and President, and Laura Light, Director of Text Manuscripts, of Les Enluminures. This exhibition is sponsored by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CEMERS). Generous financial support was provided by the Aldo and Reta Bernardo Fund; an anonymous donor; the Offices of the President, Provost, and Dean of Harpur College; and the Departments of English, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Studies (MEAMS), and Music at Binghamton University.


The Materiality of Medieval Mansucripts was featured in a recent segment by Channel 34, "Medieval manuscripts at the BU Art Museum."



Last Updated: 3/18/22