Looking at Images in a Different Way
Among the books on view is a 1493 edition of the works of Terence, a Roman playwright. "The woodcuts are each made up of several woodblocks, so it's a little like a puzzle. You put one piece by one piece by another piece on one page, and then the next page includes two of the same pieces in a new image. This is a way of creating different images with a limited number of woodblocks, which were costly and time-consuming to make," she says. "Just to see this creativity is fascinating."
Beyond Words also includes a woodcut in a Czech herbal (a guide to plants) from 1562 and the woodblock that produced it. "We are very lucky to own examples of print matrices that were used to print images in books we own," she says. In the woodblock, "you can see the lines in relief and traces of the knife and tools used to carve it," revealing the work required to make it. "We forget how much time it took to make an image."