This exhibition of nearly 30 manuscript illuminations travels through 400 years of the Middle Ages and across numerous countries in western Europe. Although often tiny in scale, these exquisite fragments from choir books, books of hours, and religious narratives offer a fascinating microcosm of medieval Europe, a world that extended from the sacred context of the great Gothic cathedrals to the cosmopolitan culture of the sunlit Italian courts.
This impressive and wide-ranging collection was assembled over a lifetime by Sandra Hindman. A noted medieval manuscript scholar and the founder of Les Enluminures, Hindman has generously given approximately one third of the exhibition’s illuminations to the Art Institute. The presentation celebrates her recent gift while also documenting her own journey as an innovative and imaginative teacher and student of the medieval book.
A richly illustrated book by Christopher de Hamel accompanies the exhibition. Hamel, a renowned authority on illuminated manuscripts, uses the Hindman miniatures as a starting point for reflections on the world of the Middle Ages.