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WOID III-15. Review: A Museum in Italy.

For about three centuries the Sienese Government collected its accounts
into thick books bound in wooden boards decorated with simple images and
large titles. Some of these can be seen in the Museo dell' Opera
Metropolitana (in Siena), and there is at least one in the Met, in New
York. The tablets I've seen in either museum have a particular boldness,
based in part on the broad areas of colors and the apparent use of oil
glazes on top of the water-based paint; visually they fall midway between
medieval illumination and modern art.

To see the rest you have to go to the Museo delle Tavolette di Bicherna,
located in the State Archives in Siena, in the Palazzo Piccolomini, at
Banchi di Sotto 53. There is no phone number, and when I got there a sign
suggested that the premises were off-limits to visitors - rather odd,
since the building also contains the Sienese tax agencies. I walked up the
stairs, past the tax collector's office, to the top, where a huge door was
marked "Archivio di St to " (the "A" was falling off). I knocked on the
door but there was no answer.

Deh! La prossima volta...


Paul Werner, New York City
     DRAGONSBLOOD AND ASHES: a project to research and teach the
techniques of the Medieval scribe and artist.
     THE ORANGE PRESS: most recent titles: "Vellum Preparation:
History and Technique," and "Dragonsblood and Ashes: the Beta
     WOID: a journal of visual language in New York, including reviews,
listings and resources.

            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
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