The Letter, the Word & the Book
New Mexico History Museum
Nov 18, 2011 through May 13, 2012


Set on our mezzanine level, The Letter, the Word & the Book is a small exhibition that complements Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible by highlighting other 20th- and 21st-century practitioners of a centuries-old craft. Using calligraphy, engravings, enameling and more, the artists featured put a  contemporary twist on documents ranging from handbills to Bibles.

Curated by Palace Press Director Tom Leech, the exhibition includes:

The Pennyroyal Caxton Bible, a contemporary Old and New Testament in two volumes, illustrated with phenomenally detailed woodcuts by Barry Moser. Several of Moser’s prints are also on display, revealing a unique artistic vision of figures like John the Baptist.

■ Two books by Santa Fe santero Ramón José López: a contemporary Book of Hours on parchment tanned by the artist, and a book of engravings based on iconography found in Mexican prints of the 17th and 18th centuries. Four of López’s engraved copper plates are also on display.

■ Samples of lettering by stone carver John Benson, who was, until his retirement, the proprietor of the John Stevens Shop, one of the oldest businesses in the United States. Benson carved the lettering on the grave of John F. Kennedy and on the FDR Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

■ A fired-enamel calligraphic wall “mural” and enameled Celtic lettering tiles by Colorado artist Patricia Musick.

■ Examples of calligraphy by the late Raphael Boguslav, including sketches that were recently collected in a book published by Fisher Press in Santa Fe.

■ A handmade paper “lantern book” alphabet by paper artist Helen Heibert.

With this exhibition and The Saint John’s Bible, the museum reaches both back in time and forward to celebrate what is all too quickly disappearing from our lives.

Download high-resolution images from the exhibition by clicking on "Go To Related Images," at below.

For more information, contact the New Mexico History Museum at 505 476-5200


Related Photos

Images from Barry Moser's Pennyroyal Caxton Bible
Slate alphabet and preparatory sketch
Fractur Alphabets
Red test tile
Title wall from the exhibition


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