2 years ago
The next time you wheel your recycling bins to the corner—jam-packed full of empty plastic bottles, newspapers, and magazines—know that this is not a cross that only the modern man or woman has to bear.
It turns out that recycling, in some form, has been around since the Middle Ages. In particular, medieval artists were expert recyclers, taking older materials and using them as a springboard for new artistic endeavors. The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, has an exhibition through Sept. 18 that displays medieval art that shows signs of recycling, including pieces made of gold, ivory, stone, glass, and parchment. For example, the museum has manuscript fragments (see above), which were reused as a book wrapper at some later time. Per the museum:
“The ghosting of the book it adorned can still be seen in the dark, abraded portion that spans the two pages. By the 19th century, the value of the pages was recognized, and they were restored to their original state[.]”
To book a visit to the Walters Art Museum and learn more about the exhibit, click here. Browse some of the other works of art below.