Seeing Gutenberg & Audubon – Image Gallery

April 2, 2018

By Nancy Kuhl

An IMAGE GALLERY for “Seeing the Gutenberg Bible and The Birds of America” by Nancy Kuhl, Curator of Poetry, Yale Collection of American Literature
READ MORE about Beinecke Library’s Gutenber Bible: The Gutenberg at Beinecke

“The Beinecke’s permanent exhibitions also include the magnificent glass “stack tower” which houses thousands of books. With this backdrop of myriad closed books shelved with their spines facing outward, paired volumes of the Gutenberg Bible and the Double Elephant Folio are exhibited open, an invitation to viewers: look.” RETURN to the text


“Bright, ornate ornamentation on some pages fill margins and spaces between the two columns of printed text with vines and flowers in bold contrasting shades.” RETURN to the text


“Closer inspection reveals images of human forms and divine faces. Decorative lines nearly conceal heavenly faces with open mouths framing the word of God articulated by the text; almost hidden within and around initial capital letters, human figures with hands clasped in prayer.” RETURN to the text


“Encountering the enormous original volumes, one may not immediately recognize them as books at all.” RETURN to the text


“How does one read such books?” RETURN to the text


“…a previous reader’s pencil notations along the bottom edges of several plates marking plate numbers of similar species and the scientific or regional names of some birds.” RETURN to the text


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