Arts

Talk on The Saint John’s Bible tomorrow in Santa Fe

Free to N.M. residents

Not only is the freshly finished 1,150-page Saint John’s Bible a modern marvel of imagery and scribing, but the good book itself also helped provide insight into ancient techniques of illustration and calligraphy. While a group of more than 20 artists was creating the piece at a scriptorium in Wales over the last 13 years, they would send back finished pages to the Saint John’s Abbey in Minnesota without disclosing their creative methods. Preservationists there would then hypothesize on what types of pigmenting and scribing went into each page. Then the artists would expose their tricks. This process enabled the preservationists to then look at books from centuries past and deduce findings that were formerly unknown.

That’s just one anecdote Tom Leech of the New Mexico History Museum’s Palace Press shared when he spoke with the Alibi about the show currently on display in Santa Fe. Our conversation was in advance of a talk entitled "Endangered Texts: Preserving Ancient Books the Benedictine Way in the 21st Century" at the museum Sunday at 2 p.m. Read about it in this week’s Culture Shock: NM History Museum extends run of llluminating the Word: The Saint John's Bible.