The Illuminated Page: Manuscripts from the Burke Collection, 1150 - 1550

Extended: The Illuminated Page: Manuscripts from the Burke Collection, 1150 - 1550

Exhibition shown January 15 – October 4, 2020 in Green Library 


Stanford Libraries The Illuminated Page: Manuscripts from the Burke Collection, 1150 - 1550, was on view January 15 through October 4, 2020, in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda, Green Library Bing Wing. The exhibition celebrated the T. Robert and Katherine States Burke Collection of Italian Manuscript Paintings on deposit at Stanford Libraries’ Special Collections.

Most of the works on display were created to adorn Italian choirbooks during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. Manuscript decoration during this period varied by location and chronological period, with regional centers of production developing distinctive styles. Materials are presented according to their geographic origins, with special consideration for the cities of Florence and Siena.

Showcasing the art of collecting and reflective of three decades of careful selection and acquisition by the Burkes, the exhibition provides an encyclopedic tour of the principal artists and styles of Italian choral manuscript decoration over a span of more than three hundred years. Visitors will see a wide variety of styles from the simple beauty of the twelfth-century St. John the Evangelist, produced in Florence by an artist known only as The Gaddiana Master, to the sixteenth-century Saint Paul by Giulio Clovio, one of the last great painters of illuminated manuscripts. Materials from Stanford Libraries holdings will also be on display, including printed books, examples of non-liturgical musical notation, and humanist manuscripts.

Moving city by city, the exhibit explores regional differences, individual celebrated artists, religious institutions, and the book production contexts in which these decorations were created. The Illuminated Page was curated by Benjamin Albritton, Rare Books Curator for Stanford Libraries and produced by Special Collections Exhibitions Designer, Deardra Fuzzell.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Department of Music and Stanford Libraries presented Sounds of Renaissance Florence, a performance of music based on, a perfectly preserved fifteenth-century Florentine chant manuscript in the Burke Collection, which was on view during the performance. Led by Jesse Rodin (Associate Professor, Department of Music), Stanford students, joined by the ensemble Cut Circle, evoked the soundscape represented in ink and parchment by the materials in the exhibition.

 The Illuminated Page was on display in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda exhibit cases from January 15 – October 4, 2020.

Visitors are encouraged to call 650-723-0931 or visit the Library Hours page to confirm hours.