Breaking and Remaking a Medieval Bible by Eric Johnson

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Raether Center Joslin Family 1823 Room 206
Event Type
Richard J. Ring
Watkinson Library

sponsored by the departments of Art History, English, and History, the Barbieri Fund, the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Watkinson Library
Dr. Eric Johnson, Curator of Early Books & Manuscripts at the Ohio State University, will discuss the notions of “value” or “worth” that underlie our understanding and appreciation of medieval manuscripts by examining the life of the Hornby-Cockerell Bible (OSU MS.MR14). An example of a rare “proto-Paris” Bible likely produced in a Parisian workshop sometime in the early 1220s, this Bible survived intact until 1981 when it was sold at auction and promptly broken by its purchasers to be sold off leaf-by-leaf. Johnson is purchasing those leaves as they come back on the market and re-assembling them at Ohio State.  He will discuss the manuscript’s original value as an objet d’art, its destruction and “re-packaging” into 440 constituent units of sale, and the slow, methodical process of reconstructing it at The Ohio State University. Eric J. Johnson, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor, and serves as Curator of Early Books & Manuscripts in the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library at The Ohio State University.


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