Concordia Seminary invites the public to travel back in time nearly 500 years and view more than 100 books, manuscripts, illustrations, paintings and other documents recording the life and work of Martin Luther. This journey through time is possible with a visit to a special exhibit, “Martin Luther – The Reformer,” which opened for public viewing on Thursday, July 1, with a grand opening ceremony. The exhibit is displayed in Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) on the Seminary campus until Sept. 25.
The exhibition is jointly sponsored and organized by two German entities, the Foundation for Luther Memorial Sites in Saxony-Anhalt and the Luther Center in Wittenberg. Present for the July 1 grand opening ceremony were Dr. Cornelia Dömer, executive director of the Luther Center, and Dr. Christian Krause, president of the Luther Center.
“The intention of the exhibit is to initiate, support and stimulate knowledge about Martin Luther,” commented Dr. Krause. “It is very significant for the exhibit to come to St. Louis, as it is one of the centers of Lutheranism in the New World.”
Dr. John F. Johnson, president of Concordia Seminary, welcomed the group and expressed gratitude on behalf of Concordia Seminary for the opportunity to host the exhibit. Johnson also recognized and thanked Mr. and Mrs. Robert Duesenberg, “whose generosity and leadership have made this exhibit and related activities on our campus possible.”
Dr. Martin R. Noland, director of CHI, described the contents of the exhibit and commented on its historic significance.
Visitors enter the extensive exhibit by passing through “Katharina’s portal,” named after Luther’s wife, Katharina von Bora, whom Luther married on June 13, 1525. The portal is a replica of the entrance to the Luther home in Wittenberg, Germany, and serves to inform the visitor immediately that the exhibit not only portrays Luther as theologian, preacher, teacher and reformer, but also as private family man.
All the pieces in the exhibit are stunning replicas of the originals which reside in the Luther Center museum in Wittenberg. Among the items on display are facsimiles of the first Gutenberg Bible, paintings and illustrations by Albrecht Durer and Lucas Cranach, Sr., illuminated manuscripts by Luther and a letter by his wife, items from the Luther household, including his goblet, and even Luther’s death mask. Additional exhibit information may be viewed online at https://csl-edu-staging.mrhxrwi0-liquidwebsites.com/LutherExhibit.htm.
The exhibit is currently on a 12-city tour through North America which began in July 2003 in Winnepeg, Canada. Concordia Seminary is the ninth of the 12 host sites. The tour will end in February 2005 in Tempe, Ariz.
A full-color exhibition booklet, with quotes, introductions and images from the exhibit, is available for purchase at Concordia Seminary’s bookstore, as well as many other Luther-related items. The bookstore may be reached by calling (314) 505-7315.
While individuals are welcome to visit the exhibit at any time during CHI’s operating hours, Monday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., groups of five or more are encouraged to call CHI (314- 505-7900) prior to visiting. Concordia Seminary is located in Clayton, Mo., one block north of St. Mary’s Health Center. Driving instructions can be viewed at https://csl-edu-staging.mrhxrwi0-liquidwebsites.com/driving.htm.