Complete the contemporary, gold illuminated manuscript of The Book of Judith for its museum premiere in NYC
About the project
The Book of Judith is the ancient and inspiring story of a woman of valor, who singlehandedly saves her small town from military take-over and religious oppression. From Botticelli to Klimt, great artists have painted and sculpted the story of Judith. We make history by celebrating Judith in a contemporary hand illuminated golden manuscript for its museum debut in New York City.
The Book of Judith offers insight and hope to a worldwide audience of all ages and faiths for generations to come. Devoted to the transforming power of art The Book of Judith combines our exquisite paintings with text by Hebrew scholar Everett Fox. It chronicles the struggle for religious freedom in a contemporary voice while echoing the great illuminated manuscripts that flourished in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Why is this project important?
The emergence of a new devotional work of art in any century is rare. More rare is the advent of a work of art that echoes the great illuminated manuscripts of the past while celebrating women of valor.
By educating and delighting Jews and non-Jews all over the world in this important yet little understood artistic tradition, The Book of Judith hopes to stand next to its great predecessors The Book of Kells within the Celtic tradition, Tres Riches Heures, the magnificent French book of prayers to the Virgin Mary, The Sarajevo Haggadah celebrating the Passover story.
Through art and text, The Book of Judith creates an original representation and interpretation of the story of Judith, raising it to a new level of universal spiritual and historical significance. The project ensures the survival of the art of illumination by creating a contemporary manuscript that integrates original art and visual iconography with historical texts, digressions and commentary.
We are overwhelmed by your generosity and enthusiasm for The Book of Judith! In 8 days we reached our goal to fund the master calligraphy to tell the story of Judith and enable us to build an original frame to display both sides of the illumination with all its resplendence. And Kickstarter, along with you, has celebrated our project twice: as Staff Pick and as Project of the Day!
We thank you with joyous hearts!
As we exceed our goal, we are delighted to share with you our plans to put your additional gifts to special use to augment The Book of Judith to make it even more glittering and gorgeous in the form of illuminated bird pages: a vision of golden harmony of all birds, the pacific with birds of prey. Many traditions cherish birds for joining soul to body, body to spirit. And yes, birds do have a language all their own! It is said Solomon taught the language of birds; after all, birds were in the top of Noah's 3 story Ark.
"Seek the trunk of the tree and do not worry about whether the branches do or do not exist." With your assistance, those branches emerge into being, filled with gilded birds that your gifts help us all the see, circling the trunk as upwards they fly!
The text is ready: Collaborating with Hebrew scholar Everett Fox, author of The Schocken Bible, we have selected the text for each page.
The work is ready: We have completed the gold illuminated art for the four pages to which we will add master calligraphy.
All that is left: With the funds in place, the master calligrapher will design an original calligraphic letter-face; together with Ellen Frank, they will designate the placement of the text on each page and calligraphy will be applied.
The design is ready: Ellen Frank, in collaboration with designer Sarah Nash and Jared Bark, founder and president of Bark Frameworks, has designed an original frame that will enable viewers to see both sides of an illuminated page from The Book of Judith. Uniquely, the frame utilizes state of the art materials to suspend the page as if it floats in air. The frame will sit on an original pedestal so that viewers may walk around the piece to see it in its entirety.
Our staff is ready: We have engaged Bark Frameworks to build this frame for the new page of The Book of Judith
All that is left: With the funds in place, we can have the frame built in time for the museum premier of The Book of Judith summer 2013, in New York City.
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We have scheduled a timeline for initiating calligraphy, design approval, finalizing and applying calligraphy, delivering completed pages to framer, building the frame, and delivery of work to the museum. We have built into our schedule additional time to accommodate possible delays in completion of the calligraphy; we have confirmed our time line and any necessary adjustments with both the framer and the museum exhibition designer.
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