Medieval Irish Masterpieces in Modern Reproduction
- Location:Campbell Gallery
In 1916, the UIUC Museum of European History acquired a remarkable set of high-quality reproductions of major monuments of early Irish metalwork art, including the Tara Brooch, Ardagh Chalice, the Cross of Cong, and the shrine of St. Lachtin’s arm. These superb pieces were part of a larger collection created in very small numbers by the Dublin jeweler Edmond Johnson for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. They are important not only as museum-quality reproductions but also in their own right as specimens of the art of the Celtic Revival and of modern "medievalism."
In this exhibit, many pieces of this collection will be displayed alongside 19th- and 20th-century facsimiles of illuminated Irish vernacular and Latin manuscripts on loan from the UIUC Library—works that have been fundamental to scholarship on medieval Irish studies in the past century and a half.
This exhibit utilizes QR codes to provide access to supplemental resources. For your convenience, links to these resources are included here:
- The Spurlock Museum’s Edmond Johnson Ltd Collection
- article on the Book of Ballymote manuscript (external link)
- Hathi Trust Rawlinson B. 502 manuscript and extensive notes (external link)
- Hathi Trust Bodleian Library digital color folio pages of Rawlinson B. 502 (external link)
- an article on the Cross of Cong (external link)
- Book of Kells exhibit video at Trinity College Dublin (external link)
- Book of Kells digital facsimile Trinity College Dublin (external link)
- an article on the O’Longáin family of scribes (external link)
- a recorded talk on the O’Langain family (external link)
- a digital version of the Book of Dimma (external link)
- an article on the Shrine of the Book of Dimma (external link)
- Irish Manuscripts Commission (external link)
- a digital version of the Life of St Columba (external link)
- a digital version of The Irish Miniatures in the Abbey Library of St. Gall (external link)
Not present in the exhibit, but also of interest is a post about Irish students early in the history of the University of Illinois (external link).