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Stark Museum of Art
News Release
Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday-Themed Exhibition to Open at Stark Museum of Art


ORANGE, Texas - The Stark Museum of Art opens its holiday-themed exhibition Medieval Manuscripts: From the Stark Collections on Saturday, November 19, 2011, to be on view through February 25, 2012. This exhibition features four Books of Hours from the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Each is open to a page of glorious hand-painted illuminations on view to the public for the first time.  


The Books of Hours in this exhibition provide a view into a world of the past. These prayer books especially highlight two aspects of medieval life: the significant role of the Church and religion in European life and the cultural interest in objects of beauty. The books are filled with devotional imagery and scenes from the Christmas story, including the Adoration of the Magi. French, Dutch and Flemish artists painted the illustrations in the books with precious materials creating works of art rich in decorative detail.


The exhibition explores the process of making a manuscript with a display of the types of materials used and descriptions of the methods. Visitors can view samples of parchment material used for the books' pages, the expensive mineral lapis lazuli that was used for blue paint, and the gold leaf used to create the luminous effects. The exhibition displays the tools used for writing in the Middle Ages and shows how medieval books were constructed. Medieval Manuscripts includes an educational area with hands-on activities especially for children and an interactive viewing station with digital images of additional manuscript pages.


In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum has designed a collectible Christmas ornament that reproduces the exhibition's signature image, the Adoration of the Magi from a French Book of Hours. The ornament is available for purchase at the Museum.


"We invite the public to experience these wonderful treasures from a past age. The exhibition is also enhanced by modern technology with a tablet computer station that the visitor can use to simulate turning the pages in the Books of Hours to see other illuminations," said Sarah Boehme, Museum Director.


The Museum will have additional programming in relation to the exhibition on December 13 and 15, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Museum will also be open on Sunday, November 20, from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. for special spotlight presentations at 4:00, 4:45 and 5:30 p.m. Spotlights on this day will highlight works from the exhibit Exotic Beauty: Birds of John Gould.


Located at 712 Green Avenue in Orange, Texas, the Stark Museum of Art is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Admission is free for all ages. Group tours are available by appointment. For more information, call 409.886.ARTS (2787) or visit



Unknown Artist, French, Adoration of the Magi (open book), Book of Hours, Use of Paris, c. 1510, paint, gold and ink on vellum, 6.25 x 4.25 in., Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas, 11.900.4.


Unknown Artist, French, Adoration of the Magi (detail), Book of Hours, Use of Paris, c. 1510, paint, gold and ink on vellum, 6.25 x 4.25 in., Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas, 11.900.4.


For larger or high resolution images, contact Amanda Adams at


About the Stark Museum of Art
The Stark Museum of Art focuses on the stunning land, the dramatic people and the diverse wildlife of the American West. Paintings, sculpture and prints interpret the West from nineteenth century frontier artists to the twentieth century artistic colonies in New Mexico. Artists include John James Audubon, Frederic Remington, and Charles Marion Russell.


The Museum also features a significant collection of American Indian objects, including baskets, pottery, clothing and weavings. Other permanent collections in the Museum include the complete porcelain American Bird Series by Dorothy Doughty and the only complete series of The United States in Crystal, a collection of crystal urns produced by Steuben Glass to depict the 50 states and the Union.


The Stark Museum of Art is a program of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a private operating foundation, whose other programs include the Frances Ann Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, and The W.H. Stark House. 

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