The concepts of recycling and reuse are often touted as a modern, even trendy approach to dealing with the overwhelming volume of material culture created by mankind. However, recycling was already a common practice by the medieval period. With ancient gems, written pages, scraps of metalwork, and used ivories, medieval artists were skilled at making use of older materials.
This exhibition, which includes over 20 objects, explores medieval approaches to recycling through the mediums of gold, ivory, stone, glass, and parchment. Stunning and important in their own right, these works of art have unseen layers of history that can now be newly understood through modern research.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website