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“Here I stand …” – Luther Exhibitions USA 2016

This is a cooperative project of exhibitions in New York, Minneapolis, and Atlanta, presented under the auspices of the State Museum of Prehistory (Halle), with the support of the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In 2017, the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of the Ninety-Five Theses will be commemorated throughout Germany with major events and exhibitions, as an event of global historical significance. Beforehand, the State Museum of Prehistory (Halle), the Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt, the Deutsches Historisches Museum (Berlin), and the Foundation Schloss Friedenstein Gotha are realizing three exhibitions in the United States with the support of the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Through archaeological finds, authentic relics, original works of art, manuscripts, and prints, “Here I stand…” – Luther Exhibitions USA 2016 will present a comprehensive picture of Martin Luther’s life and work and of the Reformation—its history, cultural-historical environment, and impact. At the same time, these exhibitions will suggest the immense cultural richness of Central Germany.

The State Museum of Prehistory (Halle) will contribute spectacular finds recently discovered at the Luther sites in Mansfeld, Eisleben, and Wittenberg.

The Luther Memorials Foundation in Saxony-Anhalt will contribute authentic exhibits originally belonging to Luther and his surroundings, including printed materials and artworks as well as manuscripts of the Reformation period. An unprecedented number of exhibits will be on loan from the collections of the Luther house in Wittenberg, which is undergoing renovations in preparation of the anniversary of the Reformation.

End mount of a belt with a letter appliqué “d” from Luther’s parents’ home in Mansfeld (© State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt, Juraj Lipták).
Lucas Cranach the Elder (workshop), Martin Luther (© Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt).
Helmet of Emperor Charles V (© Deutsches Historisches Museum).
Lucas Cranach the Elder, Judith at the Table of Holofernes (© Foundation Schloss Friedenstein Gotha).

The Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin will contribute important objects that bear witness to the Reformation period as well as artifacts of contemporary history that illuminate the Reformation beyond Wittenberg, showing Luther’s influence worldwide up to the present day.

The Foundation Schloss Friedenstein Gotha will enrich the exhibition with its outstanding collection of art and graphics – works that help elucidate the cultural and socio-historical environment of the Reformation and also publicize Central Germany’s cultural wealth.

Many important original works are being shown abroad, and specifically in the United States, for the first time. The exhibitions will be held in New York, Minneapolis, and Atlanta, starting in the fall of 2016. Leadership and general management of the project lies with the State Museum of Prehistory (Halle). The state of Saxony-Anhalt, the Free State of Thuringia, the Protestant Church in Central Germany, and many other renowned cultural institutions in Central Germany, such as the Foundation Cathedrals and Castles in Saxony-Anhalt, the Gotha Research Library, and the Wartburg Foundation Eisenach, are also providing support. This extraordinary project is being realized thanks to the generous financial support of the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany and stands under the patronage of Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The German consortium is collaborating with renowned American institutions.

The Morgan Library & Museum New York (© The Morgan Library & Museum New York, Michael Denance).
Conrad Meit, Adam and Eve (© Foundation Schloss Friedenstein Gotha).

The Morgan Library & Museum, in the heart of downtown Manhattan, plans an exhibition resembling a treasure chamber, to run from October 7, 2016, to January 22, 2017. A selection of rare prints, books, and manuscripts, combined with works of fine art, will focus on events in Luther’s life that were particularly relevant for the beginning of the Reformation.

Minneapolis Institute of Art (© Minneapolis Institute of Art, Nathan Haase).
Lucas Cranach the Elder, Martin Luther (© Deutsches Historisches Museum).
Lucas Cranach the Elder, Katharina von Bora (© Deutsches Historisches Museum).

The most comprehensive exhibition will be shown from October 30, 2016, to January 15, 2017, at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, in the American Midwest – the Lutheran heartland of the United States. An extraordinary range of significant original exhibits – including archaeological finds, autographs, books, graphics, large-scale paintings, and sculptures – will create a picture of the life and work of Martin Luther and the cultural-historical context of the Reformation.

Pitts Theology Library (© Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University Atlanta).
Lucas Cranach the Elder, Law and Grace (© Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt).

At the Pitts Theology Library of Emory University, in Atlanta, an exhibition on Lucas Cranach the Younger’s painting Law and Grace will take place from early October to mid-January 2017. Through explication of the painting’s iconography, it will explain the primary concern of Luther’s Reformation: the concept of salvation through the grace of God alone.

The shows in New York, Minneapolis, and Atlanta will complement each other, promote each other, and illuminate the life and work of Martin Luther, in all its various facets and effects up to the present day, with unique depth and scope.

A sumptuous publication will complete the exhibitions in image and word. Available in the fall of 2016, in both an English and a German version, it will emphasize the international nature of the “Here I stand…” project.

You can download the flyer to the exhibition here.

 

 

Bird-shaped whistle from the Luther’s parents’ home in Mansfeld (© State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt, Juraj Lipták).
Simulation of a high-quality 3D-replica (Visualization: Brigitte Parsche).

In addition to these traditional museum shows, the project also includes a forward-looking online component: #HereIstand allows institutions such as Goethe-Institutes, congregations, schools, and universities to download a Luther-exhibition and to present it publically on their own premises. #HereIstand will be available online at www.here-i-stand.com as of October 2016 and will break new ground in the dissemination of exhibition content with the help of downloadable multimedia data. The user can download images and even 3D-scans of original exhibits for printing and presentation at their home institutions, depending on the space they have available.

You can download the flyer to the exhibition here

In cooperation with Goethe Zentrum/ German Cultural Center Atlanta and the Pitts Theology Library of Emory University, versions of the downloadable poster exhibition and 3D-printed replicas of the exhibits will be shown in Atlanta as of October 11, 2016 as a kick-off event for the internationally available download exhibition.

The exhibition will celebrate its premiere at the 40th annual meeting of the German Studies Association in San Diego, California, from September 29 through October 2 (venue: Town and Country Resort and Convention Center). The German Studies Association is the largest academic society in the world that focuses on the scholarly study of the German-speaking world.

At the same time the exhibition #LutherGoesUSA will be opened in the Lichthof of the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin on September 29. Up to October 19 the complete download exhibition, among others, will be exhibited here. Further information can be found here.

Writing set from the Luther house in Wittenberg (© State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt, Juraj Lipták).
The dream of Frederick the Wise, 1617 (© Deutsches Historisches Museum).
Peter Dell the Elder, Law and Grace (© Foundation Schloss Friedenstein Gotha).

Contact

Project office ”Here I stand …“ – Luther Exhibitions USA 2016
State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt -
State Museum for Prehistory Halle
Richard-Wagner-Strasse 9
06108 Halle (Saale)
Germany
+49 (0) 345 - 29 84 98 89
info(at)here-i-stand.com
www.here-i-stand.com (available online as of May 2016)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hereIstand.luther/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hereIstand_com