ST. LOUIS, March 23, 2010 - One of the largest collections of art, documents and historically significant objects from the Vatican ever to tour North America is coming to the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis for a limited engagement beginning May 15, 2010. “Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art” will present unique objects illustrating the Vatican’s impact on history and culture through 2,000 years.
Approximately 170 objects will be presented in galleries and recreated environments that enhance the visitor’s understanding of their historical and artistic significance. Items in the collection – which include mosaics; frescoes; paintings by Renaissance masters; works by well-known sculptors; intricately embroidered silk vestments; precious objects from the Papal Mass; uniforms of the Papal Swiss Guard; historical maps and documents and relics – are on loan from The Reverenda Fabbrica of Saint Peter, the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls, the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, the Vatican Library, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Apostolic Floreria, the Papal Swiss Guard, and private collections.
Highlights of the exhibition include artwork by Michelangelo, signed documents and personal objects such as his drawing caliper, and tools used in work on the Sistine Chapel and Basilica of Saint Peter’s; works by masters including Bernini and Giotto; objects dating back to the first century; venerated relics (bone fragments) of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; the first geographical map of Australia; objects discovered at the tombs of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; and historical objects from the modern and ancient basilicas of Saint Peter’s in Rome.
The exhibition will only appear in three North American cities, after which the items must return to the Vatican, from which they cannot be absent for more than a year.
All descriptive labels in the exhibit are bilingual in English and Spanish, as is an audio tour, available for an additional charge.
Tickets for “Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art” can be purchased online beginning April 19 at Ticketmaster.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets, including select Schnucks stores. To charge tickets by phone, call 1-800-745-3000 or 1-877-2VATICAN (1-877-282-8422). Tickets also may be purchased at the Missouri History Museum box office located at the museum. All tickets are timed entry and subject to availability. Advance ticket purchases are highly recommended. Tickets are $19.50 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $13 for children (age 6-12). Children five and under are admitted free with adult ticket purchase. A special group discount for 15-or-more tickets is available by calling 1-800-916-8212 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit mohistory.org or vaticansplendors.com.
Hours for “Vatican Splendors” will be, daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“Vatican Splendors” is organized and circulated in conjunction with the Congregazione per l’Evangelizzazione dei Popoli of the Vatican City State. The exhibition is produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in association with the Missouri History Museum. Objects in the exhibition are on loan from the The Reverenda Fabbrica of Saint Peter, the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, the Vatican Library, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and the Apostolic Floreria. Additional objects are on loan by the Papal Swiss Guard and private collections.
The Missouri History Museum has been active in the St. Louis community since 1866. Founding members established the organization “for the purpose of saving from oblivion the early history of the city and state.” Today the museum operates the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park and the Library and Research Center at 225 South Skinker Boulevard near the Washington University campus.
Evergreen Exhibitions is a world leader in providing high quality, state-of-the-art exhibitions in collaboration with more than 200 leading museums and research institutions in the United States and internationally.
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