Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute, Manuscripts and Books, Miscellaneous

What Do Paleographers Do?


It’s nothing to do with fossils—paleographers are specialists in old handwriting. More»

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Posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, J. Paul Getty Museum, Manuscripts and Books

Time for a Manuscript Close-Up! Welcoming the Abbey Bible to the Museum

Erene Rafik Morcos documenting the Abbey Bible in the Manuscripts Study Room at the J. Paul Getty Museum

The 13th-century illuminated manuscript known as the Abbey Bible recently joined the collection of the Getty Museum—and when the special book arrived, the task of documenting it fell to me. This meant I had to spend a lot of time… More»

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    • Polo and Fishing Fore-Edge Painting


      These idyllic fore-edge paintings come from Mary Grey Lundie Duncan’s book entitled Memoir of Mrs. Mary Lundie Duncan: Being Recollection of a Daughter by Her Mother, third edition, published in 1846. After her daughter’s untimely death at 25, Mary Grey Lundie Duncan recorded her daughter’s life and her hymns. Mary Lundie Duncan wrote hymns for her children, most notably “Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me” and “My Saviour, be Thou near me.”

      As with an earlier post that focused on fore-edge paintings, the art added to books by owners do not always match the subject matter. It’s unclear when the art was added, but polo and fly fishing do not seem to have much of a relationship to the young life of a devout Scottish woman.

      There is more to this book. It was donated to the library by Mr. and Mrs. Herman Brown in memory of their friend Florence Rice “Floy” Rodman Barnhardt. She was born in Minnesota and died in Houston, TX. Her husband, Gen. George Columbus Barnhardt, commanded the 28th Infantry Division in World War I. She and her husband are buried in United States Military Academy Post Cemetery at West Point. The relationship between Floy Rodman Barnhardt and the Browns is unknown, but it must have been close.

      Thanks to our new archival assistant, Alicia Fan, for making the gifs.

      Sources consulted: Mary Lundie Duncan hymns, Minister Henry Duncan, Find a Grave: Florence Rice “Floy” Rodman Barnhardt, and Find a Grave: Gen. George Columbus Barnhardt.

      Fore-edge paintings are fore-ever awesome.


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