New museum exhibits to visit during the holiday break
“Shakespeare in Print and Performance.” With next year marking the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death in 1616, Bard mania is manifesting everywhere, including the Harry Ransom Center. Among the treasures featured in the new exhibit “Shakespeare in Print and Performance” are the center’s three copies of the 1623 First Folio, the first printing of Shakespeare’s collected plays. Other Shakespeare-related rarities include John Wilkes Booth’s promptbook for his staging of “Richard II” and sleek modernist set designs by designers such as Norman Bel Geddes. Museum hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday (Thursday until 7 p.m.), noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Continues through May 29. Harry Ransom Center, 300 W. 21st St., University of Texas campus. Free. 512-471-8944, hrc.utexas.edu.
“The Crusader Bible: A Gothic Masterpiece.” Direct from the Morgan Library & Museum in New York comes the 13th-century Crusader Bible. Likely created in 1240 for King Louis IX of France, the illustrated bible originally had no text, designed to appeal to a largely illiterate population. Biblical characters are depicted in guises familiar to medieval Europeans — think battling armored knights brandishing arms — and scenes are set in 13th century French villages and castles. The exhibit includes other rare treasures as well. From the Metropolitan Museum of Art comes medieval armor and arms as well as 16th century Persian illustrations. And from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America is the Ardashir-nama, a 17th century Judeo-Persian manuscript of Old Testament stories. Museum hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday (third Thursday of the month open until 9 p.m.). Continues through April 3. Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. $5-$9 (free on Thursdays). 512-471-7354, blantonmuseum.org.