Monday, October 3, 2011

Illuminated

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For hundreds of years before books were common household items, scholars and monks spent years of their lives carefully copying and recopying important texts by hand…

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…bent over their desks hour by hour, with only sun or candlelight to see by, perfecting their skills with each and every gilded stroke of their brush…

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…they not only copied the words, they turned the words into masterpieces.

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A few wonderful hours spent in the Getty Museum in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago…

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…their special exhibit:  Illumination.  I was thrilled!  I’ve loved this art form all my life—what a chance to see some of the originals up close…and what a chance to share that love with my two younger daughters…

DSC05776_edited-1 {Although dim, I love this photo…through a display case, I see both my daughter and my mother…each studying a different display…}

Dimly lit rooms devoted to ancient books…manuscript pages…the tools of the trade…beautiful displays showing how it was all done so very long ago…illuminating…

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My daughters spent most of our time there carefully reading the information, gazing into each and every page to see the incredible detail…

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When we returned home, an art assignment was given…Illumination, of course!

hpqscan0001_edited-1 {Annie chose to imitate old, illuminated letters she saw…choosing to leave them uncolored…focusing on the design…}

Here are the pieces my talented daughters drew—free hand, mind you—no tracing here!  I’m quite proud of my students…

hpqscan0003_edited-1 {Sarah—my redhead-- chose to create her own design—inspired by letters of the past…she’s always identified with “The Little Mermaid”!}

Having that time to spend in the museum was a gift…a wonderful “school” day—part of our new homeschooling adventure—a day very well spent, I’d say…

hpqscan0002_edited-1 {another of Annie’s letters}

…when beautiful pages by unknown, long-forgotten hands can be seen with your own eyes outside of the pages of a history book…that is illumination, indeed…

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See you soon with something new…

Julie