This season’s special exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is truly incredible. Art aficionados, bibliophiles, young and old, and members of all faiths will enjoy the Passages exhibit celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible. Passages explores the Bible’s history from its origins in Jewish scripture to its important English translation under King James.
For those interested in exploring the story behind each artifact, the exhibit provides headphones that give detailed explanations for many scrolls and books. The tour begins with a stunning collection of containers that held scrolls of the Torah. There is also a stone menorah that stood in the Temple of Jerusalem at the time of Christ. The beautiful lines of Hebrew are preserved on parchment, and a glass case contains a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
There are beautiful Bibles of all shapes and sizes in Greek and Latin, and interactive computers that allow you to examine the Latin text of Genesis or admire illustrations. Travelling through the centuries you encounter the rooms where monks copied the scriptures and illuminated them with colorful pictures. You can even try your hand at copying—the museum provides paper, quill pens, and ink. Here animatronics allow St. Jerome to describe how he produced his Latin translation of the Bible, which prevented confusion in interpretation of God’s word. A working replica of the Gutenberg printing press creates excerpts of the Latin Bible that museum visitors can take home.
The effects of the Protestant Reformation are vividly shown through letters bearing the signature of Martin Luther, a debate between Luther, Erasmus, and Eck that visitors can watch, and books written by Thomas More and King Henry VIII. The final rooms show a humorous display of famous printing errors (including the omission of “not” from several of the Ten Commandments), a collection of Gustave Dore’s illustrations of the Bible, and a survey of the difficulty of translating the Bible into languages used around the world.
The Passages exhibit will be in Oklahoma City until October 16, but don’t miss your last chance to see it in the USA—its next destination is Vatican City! Other attractions in the Museum are the 1934: A New Deal for Artists exhibit, the theater which shows foreign and independent films, and the Roof Terrace, which serves food and drinks. You can research tickets and exhibit information here http://www.okcmoa.com/.