Paul F. Gehl will showcase one of the featured items of The Newberry 125 anniversary exhibition: a ledger book from fourteenth-century Florence. The book belonged to Pepo degli Albizzi, a Florentine wool merchant, and combines what, to the modern mind, seem like two antithetical genres, the personal diary and the business ledger. Given the medieval European conception of something as personal as the family as the primary means of transferring/consolidating wealth (dowery, inheritance, etc.), however, the combination accorded with the cultural-economic milieu in which Albizzi lived and prospered. Gehl describes the book’s function based on its textual information, its record of the ravages of the Black Death, as well as what the book’s material qualities tell us about how it was used.
This lecture is part of The Newberry 125 Exhibition Lecture Series, which allows guests to learn more extensively, from Newberry staff, about certain exhibition items. The series, to total four lecture-events from September to December, is sponsored by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.
This event is free and open to the public.