"This exhibition is a ‘tour de force’ of the history of the most-banned, most-debated,
best-selling book of all time."
-Steve Green, president, Hobby Lobby, world’s largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer
WASHINGTON, April 1, 2011— In this year marking the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, an unusual collaboration between one of America’s top family retailers, scholars worldwide and religious leaders from across the spectrum has emerged to explore, share and pioneer discoveries around the world’s most-translated, best-selling book.
Some 200 business, government, academic and religious leaders gathered tonight at the Vatican Embassy (Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See) for the first public preview of a worldwide traveling exhibition of a portion of The Green Collection, one of the world’s newest and largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts.
Called Passages, the non-sectarian exhibition will debut worldwide in Hobby Lobby’s hometown of Oklahoma City, at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art May 16–Oct. 16, with a portion of the collection traveling to St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City in October, followed by a worldwide tour of cities and locations to be announced.
"In this 400th anniversary year of the King James translation, what better time than now to explore and experience this Book that has altered history, shaped cultures, inspired minds and changed lives?" said Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby.
The Green Collection is named for the Green family, founders and leaders of Hobby Lobby, the world’s largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer. The massive collection that has "set dealers buzzing," according to The New York Times (June 11, 2010), was assembled at an aggressive pace beginning in November 2009. The speed was enabled by the work of Collection Director and Ancient/Medieval Manuscript Specialist Dr. Scott Carroll and the Green family’s desire to make the story of the Bible accessible to people of all interests, as well as to scholars worldwide.
Passages paves the way for a permanent, soon-to-be-selected site where visitors can interact, not only with The Green Collection, but also with visiting exhibits around the Bible. The permanent home will also house a research arm – the Green Scholars Initiative – which brings together the world’s best and brightest minds to pioneer groundbreaking biblical discoveries through research and technology.
"The Green Collection provides casual visitors and scholars alike a one-of-a-kind opportunity to go behind the scenes of the most influential work that humankind has ever labored to capture, preserve, translate and study," said Collection Director Scott Carroll, who holds a Ph.D. in ancient studies.
Passages’ 14,000-square-foot, interactive, non-sectarian, worldwide traveling exhibition will enable visitors to see, touch, feel and experience the dramatic and surprising story of thousands of years of Bible history. Included in the exhibition is one of the earliest pieces of Genesis, along with the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, one of the earliest-surviving, near-complete Bibles, and the most extensive early biblical texts in Jesus’ household language of Palestinian Aramaic.
"The Bible didn’t come from Mount Sinai to Moses and end up in a Red Roof Inn desk drawer," continued Carroll. "There was a process and Passages tells the dramatic story of that process."
Passages will be on display at:
- May 16-Oct. 16
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, world premiere location (OKCMOA.com)
- October 2011
St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City
A portion of Passages focusing on the Catholic contribution to the King James Bible, in this 400th anniversary year of the most-published, best-selling translation, will be on display.
- Winter 2011
New York (TBA)
Some items of The Green Collection are also presently on exhibition at museums and specialty libraries in the United States and across Europe, including Baylor University and Kent State University.
For more information on Passages, go to ExplorePassages.com.
About The Green Collection
Among the newest and largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts in the world, The Green Collection is a compilation of more than 30,000 biblical antiquities. Named for the Green family, founders and leaders of national retailer Hobby Lobby, the collection features one of the world’s earliest surviving Bibles?Codex Climaci Rescriptus. Hobby Lobby President Steve Green oversees the expansion and outreach of the collection and will serve as chairman of the board for the eventual museum. Dr. Scott Carroll, a scholar of ancient and medieval manuscripts, serves as the director of The Green Collection. The Green Scholar’s Initiative (GreenScholarsInitiative.org), the research arm of the collection, brings together the world’s best and brightest scholars to pioneer groundbreaking research on biblical texts and artifacts.
About Hobby Lobby
Hobby Lobby is the world’s largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer. Founded by David Green in 1972, the company has grown from one 300-square-foot store to more than 469 locations in 39 states. Hobby Lobby carries no long-term debt and is closed on Sundays. Based in Oklahoma City, Hobby Lobby and its affiliates, including Mardel, Hemispheres and Crafts, Etc!, employ more than 18,500 people nationwide. For more information, visit HobbyLobby.com.
About Oklahoma City Museum of Art
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art serves over 135,000 visitors annually from all fifty states and over thirty foreign countries and presents exhibitions drawn from throughout the world. The Museum’s collection covers a period of five centuries with highlights in European and American art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and a growing collection of contemporary art as well as a comprehensive collection of glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly. The Museum boasts the region’s premiere repertoire cinema, which presents the finest international, independent, and classic films. Amenities include the Museum School, which offers classes for students of all ages as well as art camps for children; a library; Museum Store, a roof terrace, and the Museum Cafe, a full-service restaurant, offering lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch, afternoon tea, a full bar and catering services. OKCMOA.com