Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, invites the public to travel back in time nearly 500 years and browse through more than 100 books, manuscripts, illustrations, paintings and other documents recording the life and work of Martin Luther. This journey through time will be made possible through a special exhibit, “Martin Luther: The Reformer,” which will be on display at Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) on the Seminary campus July 1-September 25, 2004.
All the pieces in the exhibit are stunning replicas and facsimiles of the originals, which reside in the Luther Center Museum in Germany. Some of the items on display include facsimiles of the first Gutenberg Bible, paintings and illustrations by Albrecht Durer and Lucas Cranach, illuminated manuscripts by Luther and a letter by his wife, items from the Luther household, including his goblet, and even Luther’s death mask.
“We encourage pastors and teachers within a reasonable drive of the Seminary to take advantage of this educational opportunity,” commented Rev. Glen Thomas, vice president for seminary relations. “We hope they will plan to see the exhibit and we encourage them to call CHI to reserve a time to do so. CHI has graciously agreed to extend its operating hours to include Saturdays, making the exhibit more accessible. We also invite individuals and groups to tour the entire Seminary campus while they visit.”
The exhibit will begin its stay on the Seminary campus with a special grand opening ceremony on July 1, 2004 featuring special guests from Germany and Washington, D.C. Delegates and guests to the 2004 Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod Convention will have a special opportunity to view the exhibit on Saturday, July 10, when the Seminary hosts an open house for them. Participants in the Seminary’s 2004 Theological Symposium also will have a special opportunity to view the exhibit Tuesday evening, Sept. 21, and to enjoy a sacred concert in the “Bach at the Sem” series which will emphasize Luther’s influence on J.S. Bach.
The exhibit portrays Martin Luther, pious monk, courageous reformer, eloquent preacher, brilliant teacher, and loving family man. Not only are his accomplishments as the theologian recognized, but also his innovative ideas which had a powerful impact on the German language and Western culture.
“As Lutherans, we often focus on the theological impact of Luther and fail to remember that his influence extended beyond the theological sphere,” commented Thomas. “After all ‘Life’ magazine voted Luther the third-most influential person in the past millennium.”
The exhibit is currently on a 12-city tour through North America, which began in July in Winnepeg, Canada. The tour will end in February 2005 in Tempe, Arizona. The exhibition is jointly sponsored and organized by the Stiftung Luthergedenkstätten [Foundation for Luther Memorial Sites] in Saxony-Anhalt and Luther-Zentrum in Wittenberg.
While individuals are welcome to visit the exhibit at any time during CHI’s operating hours, school groups and others desiring a guided tour of the exhibit are encouraged to call CHI at 314-505-7900 to establish a specific appointment.