Medieval beasts come to UF libraries

Published: January 26 2015


“The Beast in the Book: Animals in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Illustrations from the Middle Ages” will be on display in the George A. Smathers Libraries until March 6.

The pieces on display -- copies of the original works -- demonstrate the faithful renderings of the original gold-leaf illuminations, from the weight of the paper to its flaws and stains.

The exhibition shows animal imagery in medieval manuscripts and is intended to encourage viewers to consider the way the illustrators combined art and imagination with educational messages.

The collection features items from the George A. Smathers’ Rare Books Collection, the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica and the Cairo Genizah Collection at the Cambridge University Library. The exhibit is curated by Rebecca Jefferson, head of the Isser and Rae Prince Library of Judaica.

“The Beast in the Book” will be on display in the Smathers Library Gallery on the second floor of the Smathers Library. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and all exhibitions are free and open to the public.

The exhibition is also available online.