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    Capsule: Inside the medieval book

    Bale, Anthony and Hamias, S. (2018) Capsule: Inside the medieval book. [Show/Exhibition]

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    In the winter of 2015 Anthony Bale, a medievalist at Birkbeck College, rediscovered four rare and fascinating medieval books in the College’s library. These books, which date from c. 1425 to 1499, are the inspiration for this exhibition, the result of a creative collaboration with Shay Hamias, an animation artist exploring medieval ideas of design motion and narrative. We have taken as our theme the idea of the ‘capsule’, both ‘time capsule’ and ‘capsule collection.’ The books offer a 'time capsule', allowing us to glimpse moments from the past. The four books are a kind of ‘capsule collection’ of culture and art in the fifteenth century: they represent religion in France (MS 1, The Birkbeck Hours. c. 1425), medicine in Siena (MS 2, the statues of the Order of St Jerome and St Francis, c. 1450), philosophy in Verona (MS 3, Sententia sapientiae, c. 1450), and literature in Venice (INC 1, The Trojan War, 1499). Our exhibition responds to both the ideas contained in the books and the materials that the books are made from. Each book is at once an object, crafted from animal and natural products, and a carrier of ideas across time and space. We have displayed some of the myriad materials that went into making each book, to represent the complex history each artefact has. In our digital age, how might we reflect on the time, effort, and craft that went into the creation of such objects? Do the ideas and stories of these books still take part in our modern narratives? And how might these books speak to us, in unexpected ways, today? The four medieval books are displayed at the centre of the exhibition, drawing the visitor into a capsule of ideas, images, and objects. The exhibition ran 26 June to 30 July 2018.


    Item Type: Show/Exhibition
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): medieval manuscripts art animation
    School: School of Arts > English, Theatre and Creative Writing
    Depositing User: Anthony Bale
    Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2019 14:03
    Last Modified: 04 Jul 2022 12:33


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