Save a Dutch masterpiece. Help to restore the prayer book of Mary of Guelders

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from € 25.000 (130%)

Too fragile to touch, too beautiful to remain unknown. The prayer book that once belonged to Duchess Mary of Guelders is the greatest work of art from medieval Guelders. In 2015, this book will be exactly six hundred years old. It’s famous but unknown, since it cannot be examined before undergoing extensive restoration. Medievalist Johan Oosterman wants to achieve this with your help.

Book of prayers

For Professor Oosterman, one thing is certain: this masterpiece from Guelders is crucial for understanding early Netherlandish art. But how was it made? Which examples was it based on? What type of parchment and pigments were used? Why did Maria choose the text to be written in a local Dutch dialect instead of the more common Latin or her native French? What does this book tell us about the early period in Dutch art? How innovative was the Arnhem and Nijmegen region at the start of the fifteenth century?

Restoration essential

Unfortunately, the book has become so fragile and damaged after centuries of use that it can no longer be consulted by scholars or admired by the public. It has been taken apart and is currently locked up in its box in the Berlin State Library. Restoration is essential!

Maria van Gelre

 

Give the prayer book the recognition it deserves

‘The prayer book of Mary of Guelders deserves a special place in history,’ says Johan Oosterman. ‘I’d like the book to be restored and make it accessible again, so that it can be studied and displayed. This requires funding – 25,000 euros is a good start. Anyone can make a large or small donation, for example, by adopting a page.’ 

We need your help

Help give this Dutch masterpiece its much-deserved place in history by donating through this site! All donations are welcome. Together, we can make the restoration possible. Thank you very much for your support!

For more information (in Dutch) about this book, about Oosterman and the progress of the restoration, visit www.mariavangelre.nl.

Johan Oosterman

€ 15 Donate You are a sponsor of the prayer book. To thank you for your support, we will send you a newsletter with regular updates on the progress of the restoration. - You are a sponsor of the prayer book. To thank you for your support, we will send you a newsletter with regular updates on the progress of the restoration. € 50 Donate Recommended You adopt a text page of the book. You will receive a digital scan of this page with a detailed description of its contents. We will send you a newsletter with regular updates on the progress of the restoration. - You adopt a text page of the book. You will receive a digital scan of this page with a detailed description of its contents. We will send you a newsletter with regular updates on the progress of the restoration. € 100 Donate You adopt an illuminated page of the book. You will receive a digital scan of this page with a detailed description of its contents. We will send you a newsletter with regular updates on the progress of the restoration.  - You adopt an illuminated page of the book. You will receive a digital scan of this page with a detailed description of its contents. We will send you a newsletter with regular updates on the progress of the restoration. € 250 Donate You adopt an illuminated page of the book. You will receive a print of this page and a detailed description of its contents. You will also receive a personal invitation from Johan Oosterman to attend a lecture where original historical material will be... - You adopt an illuminated page of the book. You will receive a print of this page and a detailed description of its contents. You will also receive a personal invitation from Johan Oosterman to attend a lecture where original historical material will be shown. We will send you a newsletter with regular updates on the progress of the restoration. € 1.000 Donate You adopt one of the specially selected pages (ou will be contacted about the options) and become the exclusive sponsor of this page. You will receive a print of this page and a detailed description of its contents. You will also receive an invitation ... - You adopt one of the specially selected pages (ou will be contacted about the options) and become the exclusive sponsor of this page. You will receive a print of this page and a detailed description of its contents. You will also receive an invitation for an excursion to Berlin led by Johan Oosterman, including a tour of the State Library where the prayer book is being restored (Travel and accommodation costs in Berlin are not included). We will send you a newsletter with regular updates on the progress of the restoration. Other Amount Other  - I want to choose my own amount
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We did it!

18-12-2015 | 10:49 We did it! With your help we made the 25,000 euros we were aiming at for the restoration of the prayer book of Mary of Guelders, within a month and a half. We never dreamed that the support for our project would be so overwhelming. Your enthusiasm and involvement confirmed our conviction that the restoration of this prayer book is not only of scholarly but especially of social importance.   And we achieved something else as well: Museum Het Valkhof announced their intention to devote an exhibition to the book within five years. And the Berlin State Library vouches for its restoration. Thank you for enabling us to make this possible on your behalf.   Restoration is intended to begin shortly. We will be happy to keep you informed about this process via email and www.ru.nl/mariavangelre. And of course we would one day like to welcome you to the Valkhof Museum, so that we can admire ‘our’ prayer book together.   On behalf of the entire team, Johan Oosterman
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