Monday, January 28, 2013

The Rich History of the Printed Book

David R. Godine, Publisher began in a deserted barn in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1970. David Godine’s first books, printed on his own presses, were nearly all letterpress, limited editions printed on high-quality rag or handmade paper. Although the company has evolved since then (we even have e-books now!), our founding principles have not changed. At Godine, quality has remained foremost. Our aim is to identify the best work and to produce it in the best way possible. As we strive to design and produce beautiful books, we hope you are as inspired by the rich history of the printed book as we are at David R. Godine.

In that vein, we were excited to hear about "Crossing Borders" at The Jewish Museum in New York City, an exhibit with some of the world’s richest, and most important, collections of manuscripts and printed books related to medieval European Jewish culture. Most of the Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts are on display in the United States for the first time, including the exquisite Kennicott Bible. The 922-page Kennicott Bible was completed in 1476 and is the “most lavishly illuminated Hebrew Bible” to survive from medieval Spain. You can view highlights from the Bible here.

Kennicott Bible

The exhibition is based on Crossing Borders: Hebrew Manuscripts as a Meeting-place of Cultures co-curated by Piet van Boxel and Sabine Arndt for the Bodleian Library, Oxford, United Kingdom. Despite language and cultural differences between Jews, Muslims, and Christians, these elegantly illustrated manuscripts imitate, reflect, and communicate with each other through their beautiful images and intricate designs. Don’t miss your chance to view these books from the impressive Bodleian Library at The Jewish Museum of New York!

Book of Hours
Jacob Ben Asher

If you are unable to visit the museum, many of the manuscripts are on display here.

The exhibition is running for one more week, until February 3, 2013. To learn more about the exhibition, please visit The Jewish Museum’s website.

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