Our knowledge of the past is often fragmentary. Indeed, much of what we think about and learn from the past is through fragments.
Ancient artifacts, historical documents, architectural ruins, and other important pieces of history speak to us in an incomplete state. Although much of this damage is the result of the ravages of history or natural processes, the fragmentation of manuscripts was often the direct consequence of human influence on manuscripts.
This exhibition explores key components of any manuscript, including content, script, and decoration. But beyond those things, the circumstances of fragmentation can also raise important questions about the fragments themselves.
Fragmented Beauty presents manuscript fragments, spanning over 1500 years, of European and Non-European origin. Although the items in this exhibition can no longer be displayed or appreciated in their original state, their fragmented beauty still allows us to piece together their past, and preserve that knowledge for the future.