Amy Fagin created 20th Century Illuminations in 1985. “The illuminated manuscript as contemporary art” is the underlying principal and framework which inspires all creative material designed by 20th Century Illuminations.
The traditional art of manuscript illumination no longer exists as it did before the end of the 14th century. The onset of typesetting and book manufacturing quickly eliminated the need of artisans skilled in hand reproduction of calligraphy, ornamental painting, illustration, gilding, vellum preparation and bookbinding.Today, there are a handful of artists who have revived and practice the traditional methods of medieval manuscript illumination with the accompanying alchemy of ancient recipes. And, there are a handful of artists who continue the practice of the beloved traditional art of the illuminated ketubah, an art form with its earliest examples some 3000 years old. The ketubah is truly unique as an example of an unbroken form of the traditional art of manuscript illumination which has been continuously practiced since its origins some 3000 years ago.
With 20th Century Illuminations, Ms Fagin’s body of work explores and re-defines the fundamentals of manuscript illumination as a thoroughly contemporary art form. Ms Fagin’s ketubot are challenging fine art objects and are proud to be part of collections worldwide. Her signature compositions draw on world art history to inform her compositions. The emerging series “Beyond Genocide” is an outstanding and original contribution to the history of manuscript illumination which addresses the timely and universal issue of genocide for all people.
We hope that you enjoy your visit to our virtual gallery. We are also happy to answer any questions, and to be as helpful as possible. Please contact our studio at any time.