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Catalog of an exhibition at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Aug. 16-Oct. 16, 1988.
Thomas Ingmire on his work with the Saint John’s Bible:
“Even with each piece, I would start out asking myself, Why? And about two-thirds of the way through I would say, This is it, never again. And then when it was done and I would see it, there is something about… the magic of vellum, there really is a magic, and so, I think when it was all done and I would see that, there was something about, Ok, I can do another one. And that’s just the way I work.”
A team of 15 scribes and illuminators, under the direction of Donald Jackson, the chief illuminator and project coordinator, worked together to create the amazing and vibrant images found in the Saint John's Bible. This page gives a brief introduction to some of these artists.
Below are recommended works for those interested in more background information on the illuminations and the process of creating the Saint John's Bible.
Susan Sink's book describes every illumination in the Saint John's Bible, explaining the intent of the artists and providing her own reflections. She also includes useful indexes: a timeline of the project, a list of each artist's specific contributions to the project, and locations of all marginalia, including the correction bees and birds. This work was originally in three separate volumes, consolidated into one in 2013, and the one-volume edition is the best one to use.
Patella is a Benedictine monk and a Professor of New Testament at Saint John's University. He was a member of the Committee on Illumination and Text that advised Donald Jackson and his team on the process of illumination. Patella catalogs the meaning of every illumination in this Bible, and he also explores how a biblical scholar views this project. This is a very useful book for understanding the broader hermeneutical framework of this project.
Calderhead's book focuses on the process of creating the Saint John's Bible, from Jackson's lifelong dream of creating an illuminated, handwritten Bible, to the final touches of the entire project. Be sure to get the second edition, as the first edition was written before the project was complete and lacks much of the information in the second edition.
This volume concentrates on the broader implications of the icon’s theology for our lives in the twenty-first century; exploring the insight that icons give to such contemporary issues as ecology, the relationship between sacred art and culture or that between scientific knowledge and spiritual knowledge, the role of our bodies in the spiritual life and the nature of beauty.