Re­view: Cen­turies of Si­lence: The Dis­cov­ery of the Salzinnes An­tiphonal

Take me to church, or to the AGNS.


Cen­turies of Si­lence: The Dis­cov­ery of the Salzinnes An­tiphonal Cu­ra­tor: Ju­dith Di­etz Through Oc­to­ber 29 Art Gallery of Nova Sco­tia, 1723 Hol­lis Street

I t’s not un­com­mon for art gal­leries and mu­se­ums to be com­pared to churches, but the rooms filled with choir songs and re­li­gious

por­traits in Cen­turies of Si­lence: The dis­cov

ery of the Salzinnes An­tiphonal re­ally do seem to trans­form the AGNS’ third floor into a re­li­gious space. The fo­cus of the ex­hi­bi­tion is the Salzinnes

An­tiphonal, an enor­mous il­lu­mi­nated choir book from 16th cen­tury Bel­gium. The an­tiphonal sits in the cen­tre of a dark room lit by a spot­light, the pages of the gi­ant book turned to a beau­ti­ful gilded il­lus­tra­tion of the Three Magi. Vis­i­tors can pe­ruse the en­tire book with the help of a tablet, and can even hear the songs as they would have orig­i­nally been per­formed.

Re­count­ing the history of the an­tiphonal and its jour­ney to Hal­i­fax, the ex­hi­bi­tion is dense with in­for­ma­tion but the over­all ef­fect is very peace­ful—a welcome and air-con­di­tioned refuge on the last steamy days of sum­mer.


Some ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal beauty at the AGNS.

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