Apostles Edition of The Saint John's Bible
Gifted to The Morgan Library & Museum
New York City, October 20, 2011 - Saint John's Abbey and University today announced the gift of an Apostles Edition of The Saint John's Bible to The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. The Apostles Edition was given to the Morgan by Hella Mears Hueg and Bill Hueg, and will be formally presented in a private ceremony at the Morgan this afternoon.
The Saint John's Bible is the only handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Monastery since the advent of the printing press more than 500 years ago. The Apostles Edition is a work of art in itself, a fine art reproduction of the original manuscript with handdrawn elements throughout. Only 12 sets of the Apostles Edition were created; the first set was presented to His Holiness Pope Benedict the XVI in 2008, and now the second set is being presented to the Morgan. The Morgan will soon develop plans for exhibition of the Apostles Edition of The Saint John's Bible.
"The Saint John's Bible revives a monastic tradition in the modern world, with the goal of creating a work of art that will ignite the spiritual imagination of the world," said Abbot John Klassen, OSB, Saint John's Abbey. "We are incredibly thankful to Hella Mears Hueg and Bill Hueg for this gift to the Morgan, which will enable more people to experience and become inspired by The Saint John's Bible."
"We are delighted to give this Apostles Edition to The Morgan Library & Museum," said the Huegs, "because we've always had a soft spot in our hearts for the Morgan and for New York."
"The Morgan Library & Museum is deeply grateful to Saint John's Abbey and University and to Hella Mears Hueg and Bill Hueg for this extraordinary gift," said William M. Griswold, director of the Morgan. "It greatly enhances our resources for the study of the Bible as a sacred text and a work of art."
The Saint John's Bible is a fifteen year collaboration of scripture scholars and theologians at Saint John's Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota with a team of artists and calligraphers at the scriptorium in Wales, United Kingdom under the direction of Donald Jackson, one of the world's foremost calligraphers and Senior Scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Crown Office at the House of Lords. Written and drawn entirely by hand using quills and paints hand-ground from precious minerals and stones such as lapis lazuli, malachite, silver, and 24-karat gold, The Saint John's Bible celebrates the tradition of medieval manuscripts while embracing 21st century technology to facilitate the design process and collaboration between Saint John's in Collegeville and the scriptorium in Wales.
"Now that I have inscribed the final Amen, I realize that over the long years of this task, a boyhood dream, I have gradually absorbed an enduring conviction of the pin-sharp relevance of these ancient Biblical Texts to the past, present and the future of our personal and public life and experience," said Jackson. "These texts have a life of their own and their life is a mirror of the human spirit and experience."
In addition to The Morgan Library & Museum, fine art reproductions of The Saint John's Bible can also be experienced at more than 40 universities, museums, libraries and churches, including the Vatican Museums in Rome. The public can see original pages from The Saint John's Bible on exhibit in at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (now through November 13, 2011) and the New Mexico History Museum (October 21, 2011 to April 7, 2012).
The Saint John's Bible
In the tradition of great medieval Bibles, The Saint John's Bible is monumental - two feet tall and three feet wide when opened and nearly 1,150 pages bound in seven distinct volumes. Saint John's Abbey and University are dedicated to ecumenism, and the text, translation and imagery in The Saint John's Bible reflect this commitment. Theologians and scholars at Saint John's University selected the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) as the translation for The Saint John's Bible. Though each letter is rendered by hand, The Saint John's Bible uses state-of-the-art computer technology to create and manage page layouts. For more information, please visit www.saintjohnsbible.org.
The Morgan Library & Museum
The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. Today, more than a century after its founding in 1906, the Morgan serves as a museum, independent research library, musical venue, architectural landmark, and historic site. In 2006, the Morgan completed the largest expansion and renovation in its history, designed by architect Renzo Piano. This project, which integrated the Morgan's three historical buildings with three new modestly scaled steel-and-glass pavilions, in tandem with the 2010 restoration of the Morgan's McKim building, is giving the public unprecedented access to the Morgan's world-renowned collection, which encompasses manuscripts, books, drawings and artwork ranging from Rembrandt to Picasso, Mozart to Bob Dylan, Dickens to Hemingway, and Gutenberg Bibles to The Story of Babar. A superb repository of the history, art and literature of Western civilization from 4000 BC to the twenty-first century, the Morgan today occupies a unique position in the cultural life of New York City and is one of its greatest treasures.