CROSSING BORDERS: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries. For a rare glimpse into antiquity when books were unique works of art as well as repositories of knowledge, head uptown to The Jewish Museum for Crossing Borders, the meeting place of medieval cultures, where illuminated manuscripts from England’s Bodleian Library, established by Thomas Bodley in 1602 are on display. Renowned for its great treasures, this exhibition features over 60 works, Hebrew, Arabic and Latin manuscripts, the majority of which have never been seen in the United States including the splendid Kennicott Bible, the most lavishly illuminated Hebrew Bible to survive from medieval Spain. In addition to viewing the actual illuminated manuscript, visitors will be able to look at digital images of every page in several of the bibles and examine details on touch screens. At The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd St., through February 3, 2013, T-212.423.3200.
DURER TO de KOONING: 100 Master Drawings from Munich marks the first time such a comprehensive and prestigious selection of works has been lent to a single exhibition. The Morgan Library & Museum hosts an extraordinary exhibition of rarely-seen master drawings from the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich, one of Europe’s most distinguished drawings collections. Durer to de Kooning occupies the Morgan’s principal galleries containing more than 60 Italian, German, Dutch, French drawings of the 15th through the 19th centuries with celebrated artists Rubens, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Titian while the second gallery features late-nineteenth-century and modern contemporary works. Through January 2013. 225 Madison Ave.
FAKING IT: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop While digital photography and image editing software have brought about an increased awareness of the degree to which camera images can be manipulated, the practice of doctoring photographs has existed since the medium was invent. Featuring some 200 visually captivating photographs created between the 1840s and 1990s in the service of art, politics news, entertainment and commerce, this exhibition offers a provocative new perspective on the history of photography. The photographs in the exhibition were altered using a variety of techniques including multiple exposure, photomontage, over painting and retouching on the negative or print. The Metropolitan Museum of Art through May 2013. 1000 Fifth Avenue.
SAGA SITES, Landscapes of the Icelandic Sagas. The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) presents a unique exhibition tracking the great, medieval narratives of Iceland, known collectively as the Sagas of Islanders, through the 19th century watercolors of British artist W. G. Collingwood and the contemporary photographs of renowned Iceland artist Einar Falur Ingolfsson. The first of its kind in the U.S., the exhibition explores the inimitable visual dialog forged between Collingwood and Ingolfsson and highlights the significance of the sagas within Ireland’s literary heritage and their enduring cultural inspiration. Free Admission. ASF, 58 Park Ave., @38th St., through January 2012.
Ta Ta darlings: Don’t miss an opportunity to see breathtaking treasures in the Jewish Museum’s rare illuminated manuscripts. Fan mail welcome. Polly’s blogs are best accessed at pollytalk.com just click in the left hand column for a direct link to visionary men, womendeterminedtosucceed, poetry or fashion.