Exhibitions 2008, updated July

For 2008 this list will be updated regularly. For some exhibitions mentioned below you’ll have to hurry to see them, for others there is plenty of time to plan your itinerary. If you missed them, please check the list of publications for catalogues.


ADMONT, Monastery

admont2.jpgKirchliches Recht im Mittelalter
Until 19 November

After four years of restauration the Library of the Benedictine Monastery Admont, near Graz in Austria, has reopened to the public with a manuscript exhibition of mainly large legal codices.


AMSTERDAM, Allard Pierson Museum



25 April – 7 September 2008

Letters, words and texts belong to everyday’s use. But why do we write on A4-format paper and why do we use Times Roman font? Is a miniature called a miniature because it is small? And more…. Educational exhibition for beginners dealing with the origins and history of books in and after Antiquity. With archeological objects, manuscripts and books from Dutch collections, as well as photographs and texts.

AMSTERDAM, Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica


Libertas philosophandi. Spinoza als gids voor een vrije wereld.

27 June – 24 October 2008

Exhibiting a hundred 17th and 18th manuscripts and printed books, letters and prints of works by Spinoza, supporters and opponents.


AMSTERDAM, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Bijzondere Collecties

atlas-maior-3.bmpAtlas Maior, De wereld van Blaeu

18 June- 23 November 2008

The Atlas Maior or Grooten Atlas came to the market as off 1662 in different editions and languages made by the Amsterdam printer, publisher and mapmaker Joan Blaeu. Displaying all copies preserved in the Amsterdam University Library as well as a large selection of single Blaeu maps. To be compared with maps of predecessors (Claudius Ptolemaeus), contemporaries (Johannes Janssonius and Frederick de Wit) as well as followers.


Los ANGELES, J. Paul Getty Center


Imagining Christ
6 May – 27 July 2008

This exhibition features images of Christ in illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The images show the multiple ways in which Christ was understood: as the son of God and as God, as human and divine, as the sacrifice made for mankind, and as the divine judge who would save or condemn humanity at the end of time.


Los ANGELES, J. Paul Getty Center
Faces of Power and Piety: Medieval Portraiture

12 August – 26 October 2008

Portraiture in illuminated manuscripts developed from the highly stylized portrayals of the early Middle Ages to the late medieval emergence of recognizable portraits. This exhibition explores both historical portraits of people from the past—including religious figures, authors, and artists—and portraits of living individuals (usually the owners or donors of books). The goal of medieval portraiture was to present a person not at a particular moment in time, but as the subject wished to be remembered through the ages.

Los ANGELES, J. Paul Getty Center
The Belles Heures of the Duke of Berry

18 November 2008– 8 February 2009

The Belles Heures of John, Duke of Berry is one of the most beloved books of the Middle Ages and one of the most sumptuous. Painted by the Limbourg brothers when the art of manuscript illumination in France reached new heights of elegance and sophistication, the book, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will be presented with its individual leaves unbound.


Los ANGELES, J. Paul Getty Center
German and Central European Manuscript Illumination

24 February – 24 May 2009

This exhibition features manuscripts and leaves from the Getty Museum’s distinguished holdings of German and Central European illumination. It highlights masterworks from the Ottonian, Romanesque, and Gothic eras of the Middle Ages, illustrating the startling artistic achievement of one of the greatest epochs of German and Central European art.

Wer ist der Gral? – Geschichte und Wirkung eines Mythos
19 July.2008 – 31 August 2008

With catalogue, see: WER ist der Gral?


BERN, Historisches Museum Bern

img-karl-der-kuehne-home-1.jpgKarl der Kühne (1433-1477)

25 May –24 August 2008


BRUGES, Groeninge Museum

Karl der Kühne (1433-1477)

27 March – 21 July 2009

Spectacular exhibition showing the best of Burgundian Art – worth to be seen at both venues as not all manuscripts will be shown twice, in Bern as well as in Bruges

BRUSSEL, Royal Library Albert I
In de ban van boeken. Grote verzamelaars uit de 19de eeuw in de Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België

Until 22 August 2008

With catalogue, see: In de BAN

CULEMBORG, Museum Elisabeth Weeshuis

culemborg.jpg Meesterlijke schoolplaten
Until 18 September 2008

120 jaar (1857-1977) schoolplaten over de vaderlandse geschiedenis van Johan Herman Isings, over de natuur van Marinus Adrianus Koekkoek en over uiteenlopende onderwerpen van Hendrik Jan van Lummel.

DEN HAAG, Museum Meermanno

Maerlant onder het mes

October 2008 – January 2009

Single leaves of one of Holland’s most famous 14th-century manuscripts will be on view as the book is taken apart for restoration. Details will become available in due time on the Museum’s website.

DEVENTER, Stadsarchief en Athenaeumbibliotheek


‘Verborgen Schoonheid’

17 July – 17 August 2008

Deventer shows twenty of its finest books in the ‘Burgerzaal’ of the City Hall. With a modest catalogue for € 5.


DRESDEN, Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden, Buchmuseum

Ochsenkopf und Meerjungfrau – Das Gedächtnis der Papiere vom Mittelalter bis zur Neuzeit

20 January 2009 – 30 April 2009

Travelling exhibition of the ‘Bernsteinproject’, supported by the EU. See:



GIOVANNI DA MILANO – Capolavori del Gotico fra Lombardia e Toscana.
10 June – 2 November 2008

With catalogue, see GIOVANNI




Disegni fiamminghi e olandesi del Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi (Dutch and Flemish drawings in the Department of Prints and Drawings of the Uffizi)

26 June – 2 September 2008

Dutch Institute celebrates its 50th birthday with 2 exhibitions!
90 drawings, early Flemish until 18th century Dutch, later to be seen in PARIS, Fondation Custodia, 20 October – 30 November 2008


FLORENCE, Palazzo Pitti, Galeria Palatina


Firenze e gli antichi Paesi Bassi 1430-1530: tra van Eyck e Raffaello (Florence and the early Netherlands 1430-1530: between van Eyck and Raphael)

Until 20 October

Avoid queues and order tickets online.


FRANKFURT, Städel Museum (Kabinet zum Main)

frankfurt.jpgFokus on the Hausbuch Master and his circle: Hl. Hieronymus (Hieronymus im Gehäus), 1480, Inv. Nr. 1215

Until 21 September 2008

Fifth exhibition in the series ‘Fokus auf’ concentrates on a small panel attributed to the workshop of the Hausbuch Master. His art inspired artists in the region of Speyer-Koblenz.


FRANKFURT, Städel Museum

frankfurt-1.jpgThe Master of Flémalle and Rogier van der Weyden. The birth of modern painting

Based on years of research by Jochen Sander and Stephan Kemperdick, displaying 50 panels. The exhibition will in 2009 also be on view in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.


LEUVEN, Centrale Bibliotheek K.U. Leuven

leuven.jpgGemma Frisius, cartograaf, 1508-2008
8 May – 10 July 2008


LIÈGE, Hotel de Bocholtz

Florilège du Livre en principauté de Liège du IXe au XVIIIe siècle

4 November – 13 December 2008

Organized by the Bibliophile Society of Liège in the Hotel de Bocholtz (Dexia Bank), Place Saint-Michel 80, further information is referred to: [??]


LONDON, British Library



The Ramayana: Love and valour in India’s great epic

16 May- 14 September 2008

More than a hundred 17th-century Indian miniatures on display, telling the epic story of the Ramayana: Prince Rama’s quest to rescue his beloved wife Sita with the help of an army of monkeys. Brightly-coloured scenes filled with battles with the ten-headed Ravana, the monkey kingdom of Kishkindha, white elephants and exotic flora, and finally Rama and Sita reunited.



LONDON, National Gallery, Sainsbury Wing
Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian
15 October 2008 – 18 January 2009

Earlier in Madrid, Prado Museum (3 June- 7 September 2008) offers a comprehensive survey of Renaissance portraiture, and the intriguing relationship between artists working in Italy and northern Europe. For the catalogue see: RENAISSANCE


MÜNICH, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek



Die Ottheinrich-Bibel. Das erste Neue Testament in deutsche Sprache

10 July – 10 August 2008

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, celebrating is 450th anniversary, exhibits all 8 volumes of this Bible, brought together for the first time since 70 years. Written on 370 vellum folios for Louis VII of Bavaria, ca. 1430 (Regensburg), the book was finished for Ottheinrich (1532).




MÜNICH, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

munchen-kaarten.jpg Karten, Kriegen, Kurfursten. Atlanten der ’Mannheimer Palatina’

18 August – 14 September 2008

The exhibition shows the most impressive city atlasses of the Barock Age.



NEW YORK, Metropolitan Museum of Art


Krishna: Mythology and Worship
Until 28 July 2008

Hindu god Krishna is perhaps the most popular of all the appearances (avatars) of the Indian Hindu deity Vishnu. Krishna’s life is widely represented in Hindu art, from the infant and mischievous child to divine lover and staunch protector of the good. New installation of works from the Metropolitan Museum’s collection displays 23 paintings—mostly manuscript pages produced in Rajasthan and the Punjab Hills, illustrating popular events from Krishna’s life.

NEW YORK, Metropolitan Museum
Early Buddhist Manuscript Painting: the Palm-Leaf Tradition

29 July 2008 – 22 March 2009

Displays the Museum’s rare holdings of Indian palm-leaf manuscripts, focusing on the remarkable Mayhaanist Buddhist text, ‘Perfection of Wisdom’. Superbly illustrated folios are supported by related illuminated book covers, sculptures, and Tibetan thankas. A vast body of Indian religious texts was transmitted through the medium of the palm-leaf manuscript. This humble form of the book, both fragile and resilient, has transmitted Indian religious thought for more than 2,000 years.


NEW York, Metropolitan Museum


Medieval and Renaissance Treasures from the Victoria and Albert Museum

Until 17 August 2008

Including one of Leonardo da Vinci’s note books, the Forster codex, as well as the front cover of the Lorsch’ Gospels.



NEW YORK, Morgan Library & Museum



Illuminating the Medieval Hunt

18 April – 10 August 2008

Features nearly fifty miniatures from the Morgan’s celebrated hunting manuscript by Gaston Phoebus (1331–1391), Le Livre de la chasse (Paris, ca. 1407), disbound for conservation and facsimile.




NEW YORK, Morgan Library & Museum



Three Gutenberg Bibles

20 May – 28 September 2008

For the first time in more than a decade, The Morgan presents all three of its Gutenberg Bibles, the largest number of copies in any single collection.




NÜREMBERG, Germanisches Nationalmuseum

nuremberg.jpgHeilige und Hasen. Bücherschätze aus der Dürerzeit


10 July – 12 October 2008

Full of treasures from Nüremberg book art around 1500! With richly illustrated catalogue, 184 pp. € 17,80 (Museum) and € 23(bookshop). With a symposium on 11 July and studyday on 22 July.



FRIEDRICH II – “Von der Kunst mit Vögeln zu jagen”. Das Falkenbuch Friedrichs II. Kulturgeschichte und Ornithologie.

10 February – 15. June 2008

Famous among all medieval manuscripts: the Falcon book made for and by Emperor Frederick II. between 1241 and 1248.


OLDENZAAL, Historisch Museum “Het Palthe huis” en Openbare Bibliotheek



Atlas van Oldenzaal

6 June – 10 August 2008

Double exhibition of maps of the old town Oldenzaal, ca. 1570-1924, collected by Willy Ahlers. With a privately published book of 160 p., coll. ills., € 30. Available in bookshops in Oldenzaal or from the author.



PADERBORN, Historisches Museum
Eine Welt in bewegung. Unterwegs zu Zentren des frühen Mittelalters.

26 April – 20 July 2008
For the catalogue, see: Eine WELT
RENNES, Les Champs Libres (Bibliothèque de Rennes-Métropole, Musée de Bretagne et Espace de Science)


Le roi Arthur, une légende en devenir?

15 July 2008 – 4 January 2009

More than 200 works on display on the Arthurien legend, not only rare books and manuscripts but also film fragments etc. confronting old and new documents. A catalogue or album of 104p. is announced to be published in August.

ROTTERDAM, Museum Boymans van Beuningen


8 November 2008 – 8 February 2009

Erasmus redefined – displaying not only books, but also the best of his portraits. Rotterdam is organizing several manifestations on Erasmus life and works. Let’s not forget: 1509 was the year of publication of Laus Stultitiae or in Dutch ‘De Lof der Zotheid’.

SCOTLAND : many different locations


In September 1507 King James IV granted a patent to Androw Myllar and Walter Chepman authorizing them to set up a printing press in Edinburgh. The earliest known dated output from their press (‘The complaint of the black knight’) is dated 4 April 1508. To commemorate early printing in Scotland their are numerous activities. See the website for more information.




28 March 2008 – 6 July 2008

With catalogue.


WASHINGTON DC, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution




Muraqqa’. Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library



3 May – 3 August 2008

The Chester Beatty Library holds one of the finest collections of Mughal paintings. The exhibition focuses on a group of six albums (muraqqa‘s) compiled in India between about 1600 and 1658 for the Mughal emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan. With a 500-page catalogue. The exhibition will travel to: DETROIT, Detroit Institute of the Arts (23 August – 16 November 2008); HONOLULU, Honolulu Academy of Arts (6 December – 1 March 2009); KANSAS City Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (21 March – 14 June 2009); DENVER, Denver Art Museum (4 July – 27 September 2009).


WEIMAR, Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliotheek

weimar.jpgWelt der Wiegendrucke. Die erste gedruckten werken der Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek

Until 8 August 2008