manuscript art

“Detail of a miniature of the Human ear complaining to a personification of Nature that she has given him no such protection as the eye was given with the eyebrows”

From the workshop of Grillinger Bibel, for Spiegel der Weisheit by Ulrich von Pottenstein, 1430.

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Hello, all my lovely followers! Long time no see! Sorry for the prolonged lack of original posts, but I’ve been crazy busy at my new job as Library Technician at Smithsonian Libraries (@smithsonianlibraries)! I’m working primarily at the Cullman Library in the Natural History Museum, which houses the Smithsonian’s special collections relating to natural history, although I’ve also spent some time at the Dibner Library, which is home to special collections relating to the physical sciences.

Although I’ve only been there for two months, I’ve had the opportunity to do and see some amazing things! From a shelving unit for miniature books to a well-loved 13th century Armenian manuscript (MSS 1675B), the Libraries are truly full of wonders great and small. One of my favorites is the volvelle, or rotating calculator, found in a 16th century alchemical manuscript (MSS 867B)– I just love it when books are interactive! Expect more from that one in the future.

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#ColorOurCollections: The Getty Coloring Book

Feeling stressed? Bored? Want to do something while you stream Netflix? We got you covered. Download our free coloring book of artworks from the Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute. 

Download here.

If you check out the hashtag, #ColorOurCollections, you can see even more fun coloring pages from places like @huntingtonlibrary, @smithsonianlibraries, @bodleianlibs and more.

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I got to attend the New York Antiquarian Book Fair for the first time on Friday! It was so lovely to see all of my booky friends, as well as to see the wonders everyone brought to sell– from the very small to the very large, from gorgeously tooled leather to embroidered cloth, and from fore edge to spine, everything was dazzling! If you can ever get to an antiquarian book fair, even if you don’t have the money to buy anything, I highly recommend it! It’s such a treat to see the wide variety of books that are out there, and to wonder at their beauty.

With thanks to @maggs-bros , Sokol Books, Quaritch, Jonathan A. Hill, @justincroft-blog and everyone else ♥

Today is the Ides of March—infamous day of Julius Caesar’s assassination in ancient Rome in 44 B.C. The “Ides” were part of the Roman calendar, signifying the midpoint of the month.

In his diary entry on the Ides 60 years ago today, the Getty’s founder J. Paul Getty wrote, “2000 years ago today Julius Caesar was assassinated. I have always considered him as the ablest man that history records. A consummate statesman, politician, general, orator, prose writer, builder and a very human man with great personal charm. For his day he was a man of good character and kindness. His one great weakness was his inability to distinguish between the possible and the impossible. Had he lived another 15 or 20 years the history of the world might have been different.”

Fun fact: the month of July is named after Julius Caesar, who was divinized by the Romans after his death.

Artwork: Julius Caesar from the calendar pages of the Stammheim Missal, an illuminated manuscript made around A.D. 1170. It’s currently on display in the exhibition Remembering Antiquity: The Ancient World Through Medieval Eyes at the Getty Center.