The Cambridge Illuminations Conference
Lady Mitchell Hall, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge
In association with AMARC - The Association for Manuscripts and Archives in Research Collection
Sponsored by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, International Partners and The British Academy
Between 26 July and 11 December 2005, the Fitzwilliam Museum and Cambridge University Library will host a major exhibition of medieval illuminated manuscripts.
Cambridge is among the world's richest treasuries of medieval illuminated manuscripts. It is also unique in having its star objects distributed among its numerous repositories, rather than concentrated in a single institution. Collectively, the manuscripts at the Fitzwilliam Museum, the University Library, and the Colleges of Cambridge write the history of book production from late antiquity to the Renaissance.
The Cambridge Illuminations will present these treasures to the public on a scale that has not been attempted previously. Opening with the sixth-century 'Gospels of St Augustine', over which the Archbishop of Canterbury still swears his oath, and closing with a sixteenth-century political invective against the Hapsburg kings of Spain, it spans ten centuries of European book production, represents all major centres of learning, and covers the full range of religious and secular texts, in Latin and the vernacular languages. It showcases the work of some of the greatest medieval and Renaissance illuminators, such as Master Honoré, Attavante degli Attavanti, and Simon Bening, as well as commissions by the most celebrated patrons of learning and art, including the Kings of France and England, the Dukes of Burgundy, and the Medici. Further information about The Cambridge Illuminations can be found on the homepages of the Fitzwilliam Museum, on the Cambridge Illuminations Exhibition website, and the Cambridge Illuminations Virtual Exhibition. Information can also be found about the Macclesfield Psalter.
The exhibition will close with an international conference (8-10 December 2005), which will bring together many of the world's leading medievalists. It will focus on manuscripts in Cambridge as a starting point for larger discussions and will encourage a dialogue between a wide range of disciplines, from codicology, palaeography, art history, and conservation to collecting, history, and literary studies. Harvey Miller/Brepols have expresses strong interest in publishing the Conference papers.
The programme will include visits to the Parker, Wren and Pepys Libraries during lunch breaks, a reception at the Fitzwilliam Museum (Courtyard Enrance) and a dinner at Corpus Christi College.
Dr Stella Panayotova (Keeper of Manuscripts, Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge)