October 02, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Mount Saint Mary College students enjoy the rare Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition at the Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center on Thursday, September 28.
Mount Saint Mary College staff, faculty, and students experienced the majestic Heritage Edition of the Saint John’s Bible – the only handwritten and illuminated Bible produced in more than 500 years – firsthand on Thursday, September 28.
Using medieval inks, materials, and methods, an international team of artists and calligraphers worked for 15 years to create the seven volumes that comprise the Saint John’s Bible. Commissioned by the Benedictine monks of St. John’s Abbey, it was created using quill pens, and special inks comprised of condensed candle smoke and egg yolk. The Bible contains 160 major hand-gilded illuminations that encompass many artistic styles, often mixing modern motifs with traditional religious imagery.
Mount Saint Mary College recently acquired the full seven-volume Heritage Edition set of the Saint John’s Bible, a fine art reproduction that captures the original down to the smallest details. A limited edition of 299 copies, the Mount is now in possession of four volumes of copy number 133, explained Derek Sanderson, assistant librarian for Instruction Services and coordinator of Saint John’s Bible activities at the college.
Subsequent volumes will be received over the course of the next two years. They will be displayed in the Mount’s Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center, under the care of library director Barbara Petruzzelli and her staff.
Weighing more than 15 pounds each, the volumes stand approximately 18” tall and more than 4 feet wide when opened.
“These are not meant to be locked away or to put under a glass case,” said Charles Zola, chair of the Division of Philosophy and Religious Studies, associate professor of philosophy, and director of the Mount’s Catholic and Dominican Institute. “As the living word of God, these volumes are something we want to integrate into the curriculum and share with the community.”