Early Printed Books in Europe
The development of the printing press, in 1450s Germany, revolutionized the production and dissemination of the written word. No longer dependent on time-consuming, handwritten manuscripts, communication went through a major transformation—much like the introduction of social media has done in our time. The individual leaves and bound books featured in this gallery were created during the first century after the adoption of the printing press in Europe.
The twenty-five objects on view, most of which are from the Museum’s collection, provide an opportunity to explore the art and context of early printed books.
- Albrecht Dürer, Leaf from the book Navis Stultifera (Ship of Fools) with a woodcut of Slandering the Good, 1507, woodcut dated 1494. MAI Purchase, M1929.105. Photo by John R. Glembin.