Medieval artifacts on exhibition in Salt Lake

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    By CLAUDIA LORENZANA

    “Paging Through Medieval Lives,” an exhibition of books and other artifacts preserved from the Middle ages, is being presented at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City through Jan. 4.

    Dr. Elizabeth A. Peterson, assistant professor of art and art history at the University of Utah and a specialist in Gothic illuminated manuscripts, said the exhibit is a collection of medieval illuminated manuscripts, which are text written on parchment that predate the printed book.

    According to a press release, the museum, at 370 S. 1530 East, will also feature the tools and materials used to make the books, and will describe the steps involved in making the manuscripts.

    On Nov. 9, Peterson gave a gallery talk to 86 attendees at the museum explaining the history of the books and the manuscripts.

    Peterson said the exhibit will also focus on the topics of the manuscripts, such as religion, law, and poetry.

    “It gives us a sense of what they considered important in medieval life,” Peterson said.

    Bernadette Brown, curator of education at the museum, said the colors in the manuscripts are still vivid today and are exquisite.

    “It’s a unique opportunity to see such beautiful and old books out of which much of our history has come,” Brown said.

    According to a news release, a series of lectures, workshops and demonstrations revolving around the middle ages has been organized since the exhibit’s opening on Nov. 2.

    Musical sessions and classes on bookmaking and calligraphy are only a few of the events planned throughout the month.

    Members of the Utah Storytelling Guild, Lora Schmidt and Leticia Pizzino, will also present “Knight Tales,” a storytelling that will feature Canterbury tales and stories on King Solomon and King Arthur, this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at the museum.

    Families and adults are invited to attend this free presentation.

    “I think that those who haven’t been to a storytelling before will be in for a pleasant surprise,” Pizzino said.

    Peterson said the exhibit is something everyone, even those who have little knowledge of the Middle Ages, can enjoy. A visitor’s guide will provide any necessary background to understand the exhibit.

    All of the activities, which are partly funded by the Utah Humanities Council, are free and open to the public.

    For more information on the specific times and locations of the activities, contact the Utah Museum of Fine Arts at 581-7332.

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