The Stark Museum of Art will open its new special display The Book of Hours: A Highlight Exhibit on Saturday, Oct. 23. The exhibit features four late medieval illuminated manuscripts with glorious hand-painted illustrations, all from the permanent collection of the Museum.  The exhibit will be on view through Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011.

Each manuscript is a Book of Hours, a prayer book for laypersons, and each one is unique through the illustrations that accompany the text. French, Dutch, and Flemish artists painted the illustrations in the four books, which date from the fifteenth to the early sixteenth centuries.

“An exhibition featuring our beautiful illuminated manuscripts has become a tradition for the Stark Museum of Art, especially around the holiday season. Each year we open the books to illustrations that have not been previously displayed, and we invite the public to enjoy these treasures of art. This year the illustrations each include animal imagery, from the ox and donkey in a classic Christmas Nativity scene to exotic monkeys in border illustrations,” said Sarah Boehme, Director.

The Museum store will have a special collector’s Christmas ornament and holiday cards featuring the exhibit’s signature image.

The Stark Museum of Art will have programming in conjunction with the exhibit. A round-table book discussion on The Medici Giraffe: And Other Tales of Exotic Animals and Power will take place Saturday, Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. The Museum will have special evening hours for viewing the exhibit during a Holiday Exhibit Celebration on two evenings, Tuesday, Dec. 14, and Thursday, Dec. 16, from 5 to 8 p.m. Located at 712 Green Avenue in Orange, the Stark Museum of Art is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The Museum is closed Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Group tours are available by appointment. For more information call 409.886.ARTS (2787) or visit