Event—Center for Renaissance Studies

The Art of Images in Premodern Books


This collaborative symposium will bring to life the stories behind how artists, printers, and scribes placed illuminations, prints, and engravings in premodern books. Over two sessions, one each at the hosting institutions, participants will glean insights into the labor and artifice needed to incorporate images into medieval and early modern manuscripts and printed books, as well as how that effort shaped the relationship between image and text. This program will also introduce participants to the collections, resources, and opportunities for collaboration between art libraries and public research libraries.

The morning session, hosted by the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, will focus primarily on printed images. Participants will have the opportunity to view and interpret items from the Ryerson and Burnham special collections that highlight how woodcuts and engravings were integrated into books produced between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries. After the workshop, participants will view a printing demonstration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Space is limited for the morning session; see below for further information.

The afternoon session, hosted by the Newberry Library, will focus primarily on manuscript images. Participants will enjoy a hands-on session with illuminated manuscripts from the thirteenth through the seventeenth centuries, as well as a demonstration of the materials used by medieval artists to create the images in manuscripts.

Co-hosted and co-sponsored by the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago.


Morning Session
Ryerson and Burnham Libraries
Art Institute of Chicago

9 - 10:15 am Print Demonstration

10:30 - 11:30 am Interactive Book Session

11:30 am Wrap-Up

Afternoon Session
Newberry Library

2 - 3 pm Manuscript Demonstration

3 - 3:30 pm Break

3:30 - 4:30 pm Interactive Book Session

4:30 - 5:15 pm Final Roundtable