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‘Ex-libris’ exhibition

From August 6, the ‘Ex-libris’ exhibition will be displayed at the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus. The exposition will feature more than thirty ex-libris types from several graphic collections of the museum.

Ex-libris (Latin for ‘from the books’) is a possessory sign in the form of plate pasted or imprinted into a foretitle, sometimes on the front endpaper to indicate ownership. Ex-libris is a valuable historical source of information about the owner.

The first ‘ex-libris’ types were the owner’s inscriptions on the books, which began with the words ‘From books’ or ‘From the library’ (exbibliotheca), hand-written by monk-scriptwriters in copying books workshops located in monasteries during the early Middle Ages.

The ex-libris appeared shortly after the invention of typography in the 15th century.

With the spread of book printing, library collections and personal libraries were expanded, and the art of ex-libris developed. The ex-libris became popular.

Various types of ex-libris appear and develop: heraldic, monogram, artistic.

The ‘Ex-libris’ exhibition will acquaint the viewer with a variety of types, styles and methods of ex-libris on the example of exhibits of the 17th–21st centuries.

The exhibition runs until September 15, 2019.

Project curator: Yekaterina Dasko, the junior research associate, Russian and Foreign Art Department