Friday, April 4, 2014

Morgan Book Project

This has been a busy month! I was fortunate again to join several judges for the Morgan Book Project, hosted by The Morgan Library and Museum. I'm touched and amazed by the wonderful illuminated manuscript inspired books created by the kids in the program. Congratulations are in order to Marie Trope Podell, Manager of Gallery Programs. Her program is thriving thanks to a generous grant from the Brooke Astor Fund for NYC Education. This program uses art to support other disciplines, or in other words, it fits in beautifully with core curriculum standards.

In the program, the children have the opportunity to view original illuminated manuscripts in the Morgan's collection. They learn an appreciation of books, art, design and history. Then they learn to make paint from scratch, crushing materials such as saffron for yellow, cochineal bugs for red (what kid wouldn't want to do that?) and other material. They combine the finely ground materials with a binder to create the final pigment that will be used. They are given archival paper and real gold leaf for embellishments. The kids write and design their illuminated manuscript inspired books. The subjects range from poetry and fiction, global culture, family history and social studies. It was difficult to choose only a small number of those books we felt stood out the most as all of them were wonderfully creative and beautifully executed. For further information, read an article highlighting the program in the New York Times from last year.

Special awards: click to see the books 2013   2012 and 2011
The ceremony. The school in CA that participated was skyped in so winners there could take part. One of the kids flew in and accepted his schoolmates' awards.

Winning books were displayed for all to see. And a selection from these will be on exhibit in cases April 8-20.

 Some of the winners with their books. Congratulations to all of the winners.

Read more HERE. Do stop in to see the books in person. I know you will be impressed. Other exhibits worth a look: an exhibit on woodblock printing and The Little Prince manuscript by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry. If you have never visited, the Morgan is truly a gem.