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'Medieval' Manuscript Created by Alumnus to be Exhibited
A handwritten religious manuscript in the style of the 14th century, created by University alumnus Keith Brown ’73, will be on display in Mortensen Library from April 3-30.
Brown will give a public lecture about the manuscript, dressed in medieval costume and accompanied by music from that time period, on Thursday, April 4, at 5 p.m. in the KF Room of Mortensen Library.
Both the exhibit and Brown’s lecture are free and open to the public.
This beautiful illuminated manuscript, known as the Worcester Sanctuarium, was composed and illustrated by Brown. Written by hand in Latin and based on the 14th century rite of the Catholic Mass from Salisbury, England, it features many period details, including a calendar page of saint’s days, prayers, elaborate initials, and detailed illustrations.
The exhibit in Mortensen Library sets this modern depiction in its medieval and Renaissance contexts. The exhibit will be in the front cases in Mortensen Library near the circulation desk. One case will display the manuscript and the other will display a digital presentation assembled by the class of ART 311 – Medieval Art, taught by Fran Altvater, assistant professor of art history in Hillyer College. Altvater is curating the exhibit.
About the Artist:
Keith Brown graduated from the University of Hartford in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. This manuscript, the Worcester Sanctuarium, grew from Brown’s graduate studies with Professor James Cross at the University of Liverpool in the early 1970s. While working on textual comparisons of 12th century Old English homilies on the lives of St. Giles and St. Nicolas (Corpus Christi ms. 303) with their Latin text sources, Brown became interested in the graphic art of medieval manuscripts.
The Worcester Sanctuarium uses the text of the Sarum or Salisbury setting of the Catholic Mass, as practiced before the Protestant Reformation. It contains the calendar of saints’ days, the collects or prayers for the Mass for the full calendar of observances, as well as the directions to the celebrant. Though illuminated with his own depictions that suit the subjects and pace of the service, Brown’s manuscript nevertheless captures the experience of these medieval manuscripts, bringing them alive for a new audience.
Over the years Brown has been an active and avid presence in Connecticut gay culture. He is the longtime producer of the WWUH radio shows, “Gay Spirit,” which premiered in 1980 and is one of the longest continuously running programs of its kind, and “Sunday Afternoon at the Opera,” on the air since 1982.
For more information about the exhibit and lecture, contact Assistant Professor Fran Altvater at 860.768.5204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.