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OSilas Gallery to Display Page from Gutenberg Bible until November 11 PDF Print Email

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By Vivian Conan

Sep. 13, 2017:  In 1961, Bronxville resident Leonard Kebler made a gift to the Bronxville Public Library of a page from one of the original Gutenberg Bibles. That page normally resides in a sealed display case outside the Children's Room on the second floor.

However, for the next two months until November 11, it will be on loan to the OSilas Gallery at Concordia College in conjunction with its exhibition Martin Luther and the Reformation. The exhibition also features important works of art that illuminated and propelled the Reformation, as well as texts and machinery that aided in the rapid spread of Luther's ideas. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Kebler (1883-1961) was chairman of the board of Ward Leonard Electric of Mount Vernon (now Ward Leonard of Thomaston, CT). He was also an avid collector of rare books who made substantial donations to the Library of Congress and to Columbia, Harvard, and Brown universities.

Library board minutes tell us that on January 21, 1961, Kebler presented the Gutenberg page to the trustees of the village and library in an official public ceremony. 

It's not clear what the library did with the page immediately after its acquisition, but at some point, it made its way into a carton in the library's attic. Old staff retired, new staff were hired, and the existence of the page was virtually forgotten.

Fast-forward to 1998, when preparations began for the library's renovation and expansion. A small portion of the collection was to be moved to temporary quarters on Kraft Avenue, which would be open to the public. The larger portion was to be put into storage. Art historian Jayne Warman, then on the library board, oversaw the packing and storing of the library's paintings. Going through cartons in the attic one day, she came upon the Gutenberg Bible page, printed in Latin, nestled in its own album.

After the library re-opened in 2001, the Gutenberg page was stored in the newly created Local History Room, which has controls for temperature and humidity. This room is accessible to the public only by appointment. The library board looked for a way to preserve the page while also allowing people to view it.

Enter the Friends of the Bronxville Public Library, who, in 2006, funded the construction of the special sealed case in which the page now resides.

Johannes Gutenberg printed the Bibles in Mainz, Germany, in 1455, with what was then a revolutionary technique in Western Europe: moveable type. (Moveable type had been used a century earlier in Asia.) Before that, books were either copied by hand or printed with wooden blocks. The letters that made up each page were carved into the block for that page and could not subsequently be used for another page or another project. With moveable type, letters could be reused, making the process faster and cheaper.

According to the Library of Congress, Gutenberg printed 180 copies of the Bible: thirty-five on parchment, the rest on paper. Only forty-nine copies are extant, twenty-one of which are complete.

While 180 might seem like a small print run, the Gutenberg Bible and the advent of moveable type changed Western civilization in the fifteenth century the way the Internet changed our lives 500 years later. Books, which had previously been affordable only to the rich, were now accessible to the masses. Pamphlets could be quickly printed and disseminated. Moveable type is what enabled Martin Luther to spread his ideas throughout Germany and Europe.

Those who enjoy historical novels might be interested in Gutenberg’s Apprentice, by Alix Christie, available in the library in book and CD-audio formats. Christie takes us to a world where printing was viewed with suspicion and considered a dark art. It was a world of political and religious plots, where a man obsessed with a dream had to experiment with metal alloys and ink formulas in secret.

The Gutenberg Bible page will be returned to its home in the Bronxville Public Library in November, where it will remain permanently on display.

Pictured here:  OSilas Gallery, where a page of one of the original Gutenberg Bibles will be on display until November 11.

Photo by Staff

 

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Books & the Arts Directory

Art Restoration and Framing

Fine Arts Gallery of Bronxville

The Fine Arts Gallery is a beautiful gallery in the heart of our village. It sells original art and specializes in local artists from Bronxville past and present. It provides high end custom framing, art consulting, restoration and appraisals. Appointments are available upon request. It also sells the Historical Conservancy Journals which include a history of the village as well as the artists who have lived here and are presenting living here ($20/copy).

The gallery is open Monday - Saturday 8:30 am - 5pm (Closed Sunday)

99B Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-779-5053


Objects & Images Fine Arts

44 Pondfield Road, Suite 12
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-779-7979
info@objects-images.com
http://www.objects-images.com/home.php


The O'Silas Gallery at Concordia College

171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, NY 10708
https://osilasgallery.org/

Books & Culture

Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children.  All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

The Bronxville Public Library
914-337-7680
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)
http://bronxvillelibrary.org/


Womrath Bookshop

Womrath Bookshop is a located in the heart of Bronxville village. In addition to selling books, the store also sell children's toys and holds readings both at the store and elsewhere in the community, such as at the Library.

76 Pondfield Road, Bronxville

(914) 337-0199

http://womrath.com/

Music & Performing Arts Schools

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Ballet Arts-The Performing Arts Center of Southern Westchester

Established in 1977, Ballet Arts-The Performing Arts Center of Southern Westchester offers a complete program of Performing Arts education for all ages. 28 teachers conduct over 60 classes per week including Ballet with piano accompaniment, Jazz, Ballroom, Tap, Irish Step, Lyrical Dance and Hip-Hop. New this spring is Creative Movement and Story Time Dance for 2 and 3 year old boys and girls. Fitness classes include Zumba, Pilates & personal training. Classes are available for students ages 2 to Adult in every skill level. Private Dance, Voice & Instrument Lessons at our studio or in your home are available by appointment. Seasonal and Summer Performing Arts Camps.

Themed Birthday Parties-Children and parents enjoy play dance and music with our staff-you have fun and we'll clean up.

Centre Stage is our on site Dance, Gymnastics, Ice Skating and Fitness Apparel and Accessories Boutique. Specialty Dance footwear, Unique Costumes, Gifts and Collectables.
Sheran Daniele, Founder & Artistic Director.
504 Fifth Avenue, Pelham
914 738 8300
www.ballet-arts.net
info@ballet-arts.net


Concordia Conservatory

Concordia Conservatory, a preeminent center for music education in Westchester County, is a welcoming community where children and adults find lifelong inspiration and joy through learning, performing, listening to, and participating with others in music. Concordia Conservatory, a community outreach division of Concordia College, offers top quality music programs for early childhood, youth, adults and seniors. The Conservatory's vision is to enrich the lives of the people in our community through music.

Executive Director: Kathleen Suss

Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art

Concordia College-New York

Phone: 914-395-4507

Kathleen.Suss@concordia-ny.edu

www.concordiaconservatory.org


Crestwood Music Education Center

Crestwood Music Education Center, founded in 1987, has established itself as one of the most reputable and premier music schools in Westchester County with well over 800 students studying piano, guitar voice, Suzuki and much more. Their philosophy is to create a very positive, stimulating environment that gives each student the chance for creative self-expression. They believe in the importance of having a world-class faculty with extensive education as well as the teaching and performing experience that can only found in America's finest music schools.

453 White Plains Road
Eastchester, New York 10709
914-961-3497
info@ginescanomusic.com
www.ginescanomusic.com

 

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