Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Book of Mormon as art

Mark Twain, perhaps disappointed that the Book of Mormon wasn't written for laughs, called it chloroform in print.

Brodie said it sprung from a boy's imagination, overflowing "like a spring freshet."

And yet, it continues to inspire the humble in heart, from the slums of London to the cantons of Switzerland, from the Hungarian Alfold to the heartland of America.

Now I read of Robert and Georgia Buchet, who have dedicated years of their lives and an amazing amount of labor to rendering one portion of the Book, The Allegory of the Olive Tree, Jacob 5, at a level that is nothing less than exquisite.

From BYU Today:

All of the paper is handmade, watermarked with an olive branch and bound in either olive wood or silk and leather. The Bucherts made 50 copies, taking years to delicately hand paint each image. The paints are made from precious stones. Each letter of type was handset and the first letter on the first page is gilded with 24-karat gold.

Their work won the 2008 J. Carl Hertzog Book Design Award.