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Home | Exhibitions | Past Exhibitions | 2003 | The Art of the Book (January 25 – May 25, 2003)

The Art of the Book: 1000–1600

Albrecht Durer
Albrecht Durer
(1471-1528)
Crucifixion
1524 leaf from Martin Luther's translation of the Old Testament
Woodcut
Gilbreath-McLorn Museum Fund
(2002.16)

This exhibition focused on two revolutionary periods in the development of the modern book: the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. During this period the forms and functions of texts changed, and the basic format of the modern book was established. The exhibition displayed early book formats and manuscripts that demonstrated the nature of illustrated books before the invention of the printing press; early printed books, including a page from the Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed with movable type; and pages from books illustrated with woodcuts, the most common form of book illustration in the 1500s. The final section of the exhibition featured illustrated books on architecture, furniture making, geometry, and anatomy, demonstrating how, as printed books became more accessible, they came to serve practical purposes. The works in the exhibition were drawn from private collections, the Special Collections in the University of Missouri’s Ellis Library, and the permanent collection of the Museum of Art and Archaeology.

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