Cantilever, originally uploaded by Captain Tenneal
During our breaks between scheduled activities, I used my time to wander around the abbey and explore nearby. The students were away on spring break so campus was almost entirely deserted. The leisurely unguided walking reminded me of my adventures in Japan, stumbling around old temples, shrines, and gardens.
The abbey church itself is beautiful and has an interesting architectural history. I spent most of my time there. But when I heard the monastic library across the street had pages on display of the St. John's Bible, I moseyed over there at the first opportunity.
The St. John's Bible is the first illuminated Bible in over 500 years. I was aware of the project, and I had seen some reproductions of the work before (there were a few high-quality prints on display at the guesthouse too). But it was entirely different to see the original artwork, on vellum, with the bright ink and gold leaf shining under the display lights. I highly recommend seeing them if you get a chance... and if you're in Minnesota, now is your chance to see them, as part of an exhibition of The Dead Sea Scrolls at the Science Museum of Minnesota.