First Impressions: Early Printed Books in Europe

July 15–Dec 12, 2021
European Art Galleries, Level 2, Gallery S202

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.

Presenting Sponsor: Kenneth R. Treis
Thanks to the Museum Visionaries:Donna and Donald Baumgartner John and Murph Burke Sheldon and Marianne Lubar Joel and Caran Quadracci Sue and Bud Selig Jeff Yabuki and the Yabuki Family Foundation
  • 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.