Friday, July 22, 2016

UK Libraries Exhibit explores 'Courtly Pastimes'

UK Libraries will present an exhibition of archival materials related to “Courtly Pastimes” in honor of the 15th International Courtly Literature Society Congress, being held on the UK campus July 24-29. The free public exhibition opens Monday, July 25, and runs through Friday, August 5, in the Great Hall, located on the second floor of the Margaret I. King Library Building at the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC).

First proposed in 1973, the International Courtly Literature Society (ICLS) promotes the study of courts and court-related cultures. Areas of study include medieval vernacular genres (lay, romance, lyric poetry, drama, etc.), medieval Latin literature, the historical background to court life, and medieval art, architecture and music. The society currently has branches in North America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Tunisia and the Iberian Peninsula. In addition, bibliographical correspondents represent Denmark, Norway, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

A triennial event, the ICLS Congress only meets in North America every six years. As part of the 2016 congress, presented by the UK College of Arts and Sciences, more than 90 scholars from around the world, including UK, will come together in Lexington. The sessions are made possible with support from the UK Office of the Vice President for Research.

The corresponding exhibition presented in UK’s Great Hall will feature a collection of illuminated manuscripts, print books and codex facsimiles related to the conference theme “Courtly Pastimes” during the medieval period and early Renaissance from the holdings of UK's SCRC and Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library Learning Center. It will include a copy of Leonardo Bruni’s “Historie Fiorentine” owned by Giulio Romano, a facsimile of “Il codice Squarcialupi,” an illuminated book of hours purportedly owned by Filippo-Maria de Visconti, and distinctive French and Spanish documents of the era, with imagery and textual references to courtly activities.

The exhibition will be on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information on the UK exhibition of “Courtly Pastimes,” contact Jaime Marie Burton, the director of Research Services and Education for the SCRC, at


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