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Plants of the Bible

Exhibit: March 2017

The University Library invites you to view the Acrylic and Watercolor Collection of Jean Albright hightlighting plants of the bible. Displayed between panels of Albright's paintings are illustrations of plant life from The Saint John's Bible.

Jean Albright

Local artist Jean Albright attended Howard College at the East Lake campus. She extensively researched over 110 plants mentioned in the Bible and has put some of the plants on canvas. Her extensive knowledge in this field allowed her to teach seminars. During lectures she often recited a poem by a young Irish Poet, Thomas Osborne Davis (1814-1845):

There is a lesson in each flower,
A story in each stream and bower,
In every herb on which you tread
Are written workd, which rightly read,
Will lead you from earth's fragrant sod,
To hope, to holiness, and God.

Through her generous gift, 29 of her paintings are now part of our Special Collection.

Ethel Geraldine Albright died April 9, 2004 at the age of 91.

The Hyssop Plant. Jean Albright. John 19:28-29

28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith,I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.

John 19:28-29 KJV

The Hyssop Plant

Cedar of Lebanon. Jean Albright. Ezekiel 31:2-5

2 Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; Whom art thou like in thy greatness? 3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. 4 The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field. 5 Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth.

Ezekiel 31:2-5 KJV

Cedar of Lebanon

Saffron. Jean Albright. Song of Soloman 4:13-14

13 Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, 14 Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:

Song of Solomon 4:13-14 KJV


The Saint John's Bible

Copyrighted illustration. Purple thistle from GenesisCopyrighted illustration, The Sower from Gospel of Mark

The Saint John's Bible is the first handwritten, illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey in over 500 years. A team of scribes, artists and craftspeople in a scriptorium in Wales under the artistic directory of Donald Jackson — one of the world's foremost calligraphers and the Scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's Crown Office at the House of Lords in London, England — worked on The Saint John's Bible for over thirteen years.

Thanks to a generous donation, the Samford University Library houses the only set of the Heritage Edition — a full-size fine art edition of the original masterpiece — in the state of Alabama. Selected passages are on display daily on the first floor of the library near the Circulation desk.

The exhibit is on the main entry level around the grand staircase.

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