Illuminating the Word: The St. John’s Bible

October 11, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Organized by Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota

Illuminating the Word: The St. John’s Bible
is dedicated to a single work of art: The St. John’s Bible, a contemporary masterpiece of Medieval craftsmanship. In 1996, the community of Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, began planning and working on The Saint John’s Bible – the first handwritten, illuminated Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in five hundred years. The actual pages were created by a team of twenty-three professional scribes, artists, and assistants in a scriptorium in Wales, under the artistic direction of renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson. This extraordinary presentation of one of the world’s great religious texts was conceived as an expression of faith relevant to the modern world. It is a visual record of a new generation’s perception and artistic interpretation of an age-old historical and literary document. Handwritten on vellum using hand-cut quills, ancient inks, natural pigments, and 24-karat gold, silver, and platinum, but following a computer-devised layout, this singular undertaking combines a centuries-old tradition of craftsmanship with new technologies.

In the Middle Ages, monumental Bibles were made for daily use in monastic communities, and carefully preserved for future generations. The Saint John’s Bible is the modern representative of that great tradition, and it aspires to be ecumenical as well—to unite humankind, not further divide it. The incorporation of motifs from several religious traditions, including Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam, as well as Native American, Middle Eastern, and South Asian cultures, imbues The Saint John’s Bible with a multicultural resonance for people of all faiths and backgrounds. It the first handwritten Bible that interprets and illustrates scripture from a contemporary perspective. In addition to biblical stories and figures, the illustrations include references to the flora and fauna, like the butterflies that are native to central Minnesota where St. John’s is located, contemporary architecture, such as the buildings of St. John’s campus, and recent events, like the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible presents the story of the book’s creation, exploring the relationship between faith, art, and the written word.  The exhibition features more than thirty original unbound folios, including illustrations for the scriptural accounts of Creation, Esther, the Genealogy of Christ, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Alongside the folios, the exhibition presents a selection of tools, materials, and sketches used in the project. A small number of rare books and manuscripts provide a historical context for the manuscript tradition and serve as a testament to the durability of the traditional methods and materials used in the project.

Ecclesiastes Frontispiece (Ecclesiastes 1:1 – 2:11), Donald Jackson (artist, scribe), Copyright 2006, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, Copyright 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.


Memphis Calligraphy Guild: The Beauty of Calligraphy

October 4, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Mallory/Wurtzburger Exhibition

Calligraphy, the art of writing beautifully, is an ancient tradition with historical roots in Middle Eastern, East Asian, and European cultures. Founded in 1987, the Memphis Calligraphy Guild celebrates calligraphy and the resulting gestural art. The non-profit society promotes the study, practice, and appreciation of calligraphy and related arts, holding regular meetings and offering frequent workshops. The Beauty of Calligraphy brings together nearly forty examples of calligraphy from seventeen members of the guild, both past and present. Ranging from envelope calligraphy to larger illustrations, the exhibition encompasses a wide variety of examples of this highly individualistic practice that makes manifest the relationship between visual art and written language.

List of artists participating: Linda Boswell | Holly Combs | John Covey | Carole Foster | George Harmeling | Sandra Hudson | Cameila Johns | Keith Kunkel | Peggy Kunkel | Patricia Landers | Judy Meagher | Beth Mitchell | Maggie Naylor | Ann Rabinovitz | Dixie Ryall | Maggie Sherard | Bill Womack

John Covey, Opportunity, 2003; Gouache, charcoal, gilding on paper

Made in Dixon / Hecho en Dixon

July 19 – December 20, 2020
Tommy and Liz Farnsworth Education Building, Interactive Gallery

Artist Recognition during More than Words Family Day
Saturday November 14, 10:00am – 2:00pm

Every year the Dixon offers art and horticulture programs for thousands of visi- tors and people in the community. In this exhibition you will see artwork from participants of all ages, diverse cultural backgrounds, and interests. These amazing artists bring the Dixon alive with their stories told through unique works of art. Made in Dixon / Hecho en Dixon presents hundreds of works that reflect the efforts of over five hundred participants. These works are a window to numer- ous programs implemented onsite and in the community. 

Education programs sponsored by: AutoZone, Inc. | John Dustin Buckman Charitable Trust H.W. Durham Foundation | FedEx Corporation | Martha and Robert Fogelman | Bradley and Robert Fogelman II Andrew Inglis

Coming Up
Monday Closed
Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 1pm - 5pm
Third Thursdays: Open until 8pm
Special / Holiday Hours

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