Modes of Codex: The Art of the Book from Medieval Fragments to Movable Type and Fine Press Printing
View the exhibition
“Codex” is simply another word for “book.” It comes from the Latin caudex, or trunk of a tree. And just like the limbs of a tree, the printed word has spread in complex ways, rooted in the earliest forms of books, or codices, made from content connected or bound by wooden supports.
This exhibition focuses on the history of the written word and book production. It begins with ancient manuscripts created by hand on clay, papyrus, stone, wax, wood, parchment, and other materials.
The promotion of reading and the copying of text by clergy starting in the late sixth century led to a new culture of book production that included beautifully handwritten calligraphy and illuminated illustrations.
In the 15th century Johannes Gutenberg started a new print revolution as the first European to introduce movable type and the printing press. Gutenberg and those who followed him perfected early printing that led to modern book production and distribution.
The exhibition brings us back to the legacy of both ancient scribes and Gutenberg with a glimpse at the 21st-century production of fine press and artist books, including work by UCSB faculty and students.
Thursday, January 28
4:30pm Exhibition viewing
5pm A Conversation with Book Artists from UCSB College of Creative Studies
Video of opening event panel with book artists from UCSB's College of Creative Studies
Opening event photographs