In Focus

Letter A detail from Desideratum… (1874) by F.W. Devoe & Co. Arts Library Special Collections call number AOB 55

September 25–December 15, 2017

A letter is the smallest unit in an alphabetic system of writing, though this is only one of many systems for recording and transmitting language. Letterforms also have meaning beyond the speech sounds they represent. Their formal and material qualities bear witness to a long tradition of abstract symbols enabling the exchange of ideas. The flourish of a pen stroke or particular angle of a serif reveals technological constraints and stylistic conventions. The lines of letterforms are marks of re-creation, refinement, and reinterpretation.

Brit Bein HaBetarim [The covenant between God and Abraham] © Avner Moriah

On Thursday, November 9, from 4:00-6:30 PM in the Sterling Memorial Library International Room, the Israeli painter and book artist Avner Moriah MFA ‘83 gave a talk about his project "Creating an illuminated Torah" (the first five books of the Bible). He has already completed the first 2 books, Genesis and Exodus, and is on the way to completing the third, Leviticus. In this talk, he shared his process to visualize the texts in a meaningful way and contribute to the ancient tradition of illuminated texts.