category: Campus News

Scribe to Queen Elizabeth II to speak at Denton Gallery opening, Oct. 6

Donald Jackson, scribe to Queen Elizabeth II, Crown Office, works at his tilted desk. Jackson, who oversaw the Saint John’s Bible project, will be the featured speaker at Carson-Newman’s grand opening of the Lynn and Lyndsey Denton Gallery on Oct. 6.


(Sept. 15, 2016) – Carson-Newman University is inviting the public to an Oct. 6 grand opening of the Lynn and Lyndsey Denton Gallery, home to the University’s Saint John’s Bible. Donald Jackson, scribe to Queen Elizabeth II, Crown Office, is the evening’s featured guest and speaker.

When we learned that Carson-Newman University was to dedicate its new Lynn and Lindsey Denton Gallery to feature the printed Heritage Edition of the St. John’s Bible, my wife and I were delighted to accept the invitation to take part in the opening celebrations,” said Jackson. “It’s been many years since we traveled in Tennessee and look forward to reacquainting ourselves with this beautiful region of the South this fall.”

Carson-Newman is one of a limited number of institutions worldwide to house a rare, full-size artistic reproduction of The Saint John’s Bible. Jackson oversaw the original work, which was commissioned by Saint John’s University and Abbey. It holds the distinction of being the first handwritten and illuminated Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey since the invention of the printing press more than 500 years ago. Each volume is two feet tall by three feet wide and weighs 20 pounds each. The intricate combination of scripture and art has been called “one of the extraordinary undertakings of our time,” by Smithsonian Magazine.

Located on campus in the Stephens-Burnett Memorial Library, the Denton Gallery came to fruition from a gift by Knoxville residents Clark Denton, a 1992 alumnus, and his wife Suzanne in honor of Clark’s parents.
The state-of-the-art space houses not only the seven volumes of the Saint John’s Bible, but also The William Hild Collection of Biblical Antiquities and The William J. Viel Artifacts. Made possible by alumni William Hild and William and Linda Viel, the collections include such items as a large amphora from the Bronze Period III to Roman glass artifacts, offering a glimpse of life during Biblical times.

The gallery allows guests a unique experience by blending Holy Writings, period antiquities and modern technologies including sound domes, iPads and an 80-inch touch-screen.

The 7 p.m., Thursday event, with Jackson as the keynote speaker, will be in the sanctuary of Jefferson City’s First Baptist Church. Following the celebration, a reception and viewing of the Denton Gallery will be held.

As one of the world’s foremost Western calligraphers, Jackson will also lead “A Day with Donald Jackson: Secrets of the Scriptorium” on Saturday, Oct. 8. The daylong calligraphy workshop is $150 per person. For more information call 865-471-3437. To register for the workshop visit:

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