The University of Dallas Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery proudly announces the opening of “Modern Sacred: The Saint John’s Bible and Selections from the Permanent Collection,” which features the Heritage Edition, a limited reproduction of the “Gospels and Acts” volume of The Saint John’s Bible — the first handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery since the invention of the printing press in the 15th century.
An opening reception for “Modern Sacred” is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, from 6-9 p.m. The exhibition is available for viewing Aug. 28 through Sept. 30.
“Modern Sacred” offers a rare opportunity to examine how contemporary art explores, illuminates and represents the sacred. “To accompany The Saint John’s Bible, I selected works that also sought new forms, gestures and materials to manifest the Christian imagination,” said exhibit curator Christina Haley. “These artists participated in the creative idioms of their time, and we are lucky to have such expressive works in our community.”
While the original handwritten Bible — constructed on fine parchment, with 160 major illuminations throughout 1,150 pages — remains on permanent display at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library on the campus of Saint John's University in Minnesota, The Heritage Edition will visit the University of Dallas throughout the next year.
The mission of The Saint John’s Bible is “to ignite the spiritual imagination of people around the world of all faith journeys." Visitors will get to turn each page of The Saint John’s Bible, witnessing firsthand the beauty of traditional and contemporary print and illumination in action.
“The University of Dallas is devoted to both the recovery and the renewal of the Western intellectual tradition,” said Associate Provost and Associate Professor of Theology John Norris, who will give remarks during the opening exhibition. “The Art Department has played a prominent role in demonstrating how the history of sacred art can be reinterpreted and reimagined in a way that is both faithful to that past and to the discoveries, methods and imagination of the present. The Saint John's Bible magnificently illustrates this same commitment to creating the future by reinterpreting the past.”
The program will include a special presentation by artist, designer and calligrapher Diane von Arx, one of only three American artists who worked on The Saint John’s Bible; a faculty panel on “The Sacred in Contemporary Art”; and a film screening of “The Illuminator and a Bible for the 21st Century.” For more information, please visit udallas.edu/gallery.
Artwork credit: Genealogy of Jesus, Donald Jackson, 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota.