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Woman holding a medieval book.


Hybrid Talk: The Story of the Hamilton Field Book of Hours


In the Night Garden Lecture Series

Dr Jill Unkel, Curator of Western Collections, Chester Beatty

Join curator, Dr Jill Unkel, for an exploration of the beautifully illuminated manuscript, the Hamilton Field Book of Hours, tracing its journey from fifteenth-century France to its present home. Dr Unkel will examine the evidence within the book’s covers to reconstruct the historic removal of pages and the reasons why they were extracted. The talk will also explore the book’s provenance, highlighting its most recent owners in New York, London and finally Dublin – and detail the scholars who have pieced together the oeuvre of the ‘Master of Walters 219’, a talented and unusual artist whose masterpiece is the Hamilton Field Book of Hours.

FREE. Hybrid Talk: This lecture will be delivered in the Lecture Theatre. No booking required for onsite talk, please book to join us online HERE.

About the speaker:
Dr Jill Unkel is an art historian whose research interests include manuscript illumination, ecclesiastical architecture, the history of the book, and object histories. She joined the Chester Beatty as a curatorial assistant in 2005 and was appointed Curator of Western Collections in 2013. Her exhibitions include Miniature Masterpiece: The Coëtivy Hours (2018), First Fragments: Biblical Papyrus from Roman Egypt (2021–2022), and Heavenly Flowers:The Hamilton Field Book of Hours (2024)She is currently involved in the Textiles in Ethiopian Manuscripts project run by the University of Toronto and the multi-disciplinary Paratexts Seeking Understanding project led by the University of Glasgow and funded by the Templeton Religion Trust. Her recent publications include ‘An old story retold: the acquisition of the Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri’, the forthcoming ‘The Collector: Edith Beatty’, and The Pre-Modern Manuscript Trade and its Consequences, ca. 1890–1945, eds. Laura Cleaver,, (2024).