On Tuesday, July 13, visitation at the Martin Luther-The Reformer Exhibit being displayed at Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) on the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis campus exceeded 1,000 people. The exhibit opened to the public on July 1 and has been a very popular attraction for individuals and groups. Of the 1,000 visitors thus far, 570 visited the exhibit during the Mission Semfest held for 2004 Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Convention delegates and guests on Saturday, July 10. The exhibit will be displayed on the Concordia Seminary campus until Sept. 25, 2004.
“It has been exciting to see the reaction to the exhibit,” commented Rev. Glen Thomas, Concordia Seminary’s vice president for seminary relations. “Every day we witness a steady stream of individuals and groups entering CHI in order to tour the exhibit and CHI reports that many groups have already scheduled visits for August and September.”
Twelve chronological stages of Martin Luther’s life are presented in the exhibit through more than 100 books, manuscripts, illustrations, paintings and other documents. Stunning replicas and facsimiles of original items include the first Gutenberg Bible, paintings and illustrations by Albrecht Durer and Lucas Cranach, Sr., illuminated manuscripts by Luther and a letter by his wife. Personal items from the Luther household, including his goblet, and even his death mask are also included. Interactive kiosks are an integral part of the exhibit and serve to enhance the visitor’s experience.
“Touring the exhibit provides an enjoyable and educational experience for visitors as they are transported back in time to the world of Luther.” commented Thomas. “The exhibit appeals to people of all ages and we invite individuals, groups within congregations, school classes studying history or religion, and many others to take advantage of this rare opportunity.”
In addition to the exhibit’s July 1 grand opening and the July 10 Mission Semfest, the Seminary has planned a series of special events in conjunction with the exhibit’s time on its campus. They include:
Sunday, August 29 – 7:30 p.m.- A lecture, hymn-sing and demonstration offered by Rev. William Otte, “Luther and Hymnody: To Advance the Gospel!”, with organ accompaniment by David Cherwien. The event will take place in the Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. This event is open to the public at no charge.
Wednesday, September 15 – Luther’s German Mass will be celebrated in the Seminary’s morning chapel service. This will be followed by a lecture, “Luther and Catechesis as It Impacts Daily Life”, delivered by renowned Luther scholar Eric W. Gritsch. At 7:00 p.m. on the same day, Gritsch will deliver another lecture for the general public, “Luther’s Theology as Catalyst, Guide and Norm for Social Change.”
Tuesday, September 21 – the Bach at the Sem series at Concordia Seminary will offer a special sacred concert at 7:00 p.m. as an integral part of the Seminary’s 2004 Theological Symposium. The American Kantorei, under the direction of Robert Bergt, will present BMV190a, “Sing to the Lord a New Song,” demonstrating Luther’s influence on Bach. This sacred concert is offered to the public free of charge and no tickets are issued.
Two Saturdays in September, the 11th and 18th, are being emphasized as days for pastors to bring their confirmation classes to tour the exhibit. The visit may involve a brunch in the Seminary’s dining hall, either preceded or followed by a visit to the exhibit and a tour of the Seminary campus, if desired. The brunch will be provided free of charge to the confirmation youth, but advance reservations are needed as exhibit visitation space is limited.
Groups of five or more are asked to call ahead to Concordia Historical Institute (314-505-7900) prior to a visit.
A visit to the exhibit could also include a tour of our Seminary campus and lunch in our dining hall. To arrange a Seminary campus tour or other Seminary-related activities, please contact the Seminary’s Campus Activities Office (314-505-7378).
Additional exhibit information is available online at https://www.csl.edu/LutherExhibit.htm.