Prints and Printmakers in Colonial New Spain

Religious orthodoxy was critical during this period of the Counter Reformation and was enforced by the Inquisition in Mexico City. Introduction One of the earliest representations of the Mexican Virgin of Guadalupe, today patroness of the Americas and an important symbol of Mexican national and religious identity, is an engraving printed in 1608. The engraving[…]

A Global Middle Ages through the Pages of Decorated Books

Introduction Manuscripts and printed books—like today’s museums, archives, and libraries—provide glimpses into how people have perceived the Earth, its many cultures, and everyone’s place in it. Toward a Global Middle Ages: Encountering the World through Illuminated Manuscripts, a new book from Getty Publications, invites you to explore this theme, presenting a range of book types from[…]

Exploring a Global Middle Ages through the Pages of Decorated Books

A wide-ranging new Getty book examines the role of text and image across cultures over the thousand-year span of the Middle Ages. Introduction Manuscripts and printed books—like today’s museums, archives, and libraries—provide glimpses into how people have perceived the Earth, its many cultures, and everyone’s place in it. Toward a Global Middle Ages: Encountering the[…]

Early Moments in American Printing

Beginning with a small psalm book that filled a basic need in the devotional lives of colonists, landmark printings across the colonies captured moments in American thought. Introduction With a bit of verve, luck, and ingenuity, printing was brought to British North America in 1638. Stephen Daye, a locksmith by trade, was under contract to[…]

Ancient Manuscripts from the Desert Libraries of Timbuktu

These ancient manuscripts cover every aspect of human endeavor. Introduction Timbuktu, Mali, is the legendary city founded as a commercial center in West Africa nine hundred years ago. Today it is synonymous with the phrase “utterly remote,” but this was not always so. For more than six hundred years, Timbuktu was a significant religious, cultural,[…]

A Thousand Years of the Persian Book

Persian gained prominence as a literary language and a lingua franca—a common cultural language—about a thousand years ago. Introduction In the past millennium, a rich and varied written and spoken heritage has developed in the Persian language, elevating the visibility of Persian civilization among world intellectual traditions. That tradition is particularly strong in the fields[…]