Saturday, Sept. 25, marked the final day for the public to view the “Martin Luther‑-The Reformer Exhibit” which had been displayed at Concordia Historical Institute on the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, campus since July 1. A total of 5,627 people visited the exhibit during the nearly three-month time period the display was on the Seminary campus. Many Lutheran groups and school classes toured the exhibit in September, causing a sharp rise in the number of visitors.
“We are delighted with the popularity this exhibit enjoyed while it was on our campus,” commented Rev. Glen Thomas, Concordia Seminary’s vice president for seminary relations. “We wish to thank Mr. and Mrs. Robert Duesenberg for their generosity and leadership in making this exhibit and its surrounding activities possible, as well as Concordia Historical Institute for allowing us to utilize their excellent facilities in displaying this extensive exhibit.”
The exhibit began its North American journey in Winnipeg, Canada, on July 22, 2003 at the Tenth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation. The exhibit is continuing its 12-city tour, traveling from St. Louis to Atlanta, Ga., where it will be displayed at the Goethe Institute in October and November. Houston, Texas, will be the next site where it will be on display at Christ the King Lutheran Church from December 2004 through January 2005. It will end its North American tour in Tempe, Ariz. where it will be displayed at the University Lutheran Church during February 2005.
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.
The Seminary offered a series of special events in conjunction with the exhibit’s time on its campus. The events included an evening emphasizing Luther’s hymnody, featuring a lecture and hymnsing led by Rev. William Otte and organist David Cherwien; two lectures by Luther scholar Dr. Eric W. Gritsch; and a special Bach at the Sem sacred concert which displayed Luther’s influence on Bach. Two Saturdays in September were set aside for area pastors to bring Confirmation classes to campus and enjoy a brunch free of charge in the Seminary’s dining hall in conjunction with touring the exhibit.
Additional exhibit information is available online at https://www.csl.edu/LutherExhibit.htm.