Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

October 10, 2005

Contact: Contact: Mike Emery
713.743.8186 (office)
713.415.6551 (pager)


Contemporary graphic designers now rely on computers to bring text to life, but centuries ago, books were meticulously composed by the hands of skilled craftsmen. The University of Houston will celebrate these scribes’ complex work during the exhibition “Lustre: Spiritual Treasures & Sensory Pleasures, Medieval Texts and Images from Houston Collections.”

“Lustre” will be displayed Friday, Oct. 14, through Feb. 17 on the first floor of UH’s M.D. Anderson Library. The exhibition is free and open to the public during regular library hours.

Among the works to be displayed are a variety of Medieval manuscripts representing the era’s many book types including religious texts, legal books, medical manuals and popular literature. These hand-bound manuscripts are all richly detailed works containing ornate text, illustrations and decorations.

“They reveal a high level of artistic sophistication and skill that people today find surprising,” said Judith Steinhoff, UH assistant professor of art history. “The fine details of the best Medieval manuscripts have an irresistible attraction.”

The manuscripts comprising “Lustre” are collected from UH Libraries’ Special Collections and on loan from the Houston Public Library, Congregation Beth Israel, Rice University’s Fondren Library and Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament.

“Lustre” also will present works from UH art students including a replica of a scribe’s desk, a metal manuscript book cover, a replica of a page from an ancient English-Irish Gospel book and a new illuminated manuscript illustrating the trial of Martha Stewart.

“Lustre” will be held in conjunction with the Texas Medieval Festival that also will be held in the library Friday, Oct. 14 – Saturday, Oct. 15.

WHAT: “Lustre: Spiritual Treasures & Sensory Pleasures, Medieval Texts and Images from Houston Collections”
WHEN: Friday, Oct. 14 – Friday, Feb. 17
Call 713-743-1050 for library hours or visit
WHERE: University of Houston
M.D. Anderson Library
Entrance 1
Exit Spur 5 from I-45 South, turn right on University Drive
WHO: The University of Houston Libraries’ Special Collections

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