Concordia Historical Institute to host Muehlenberg exhibit – April 26-May 20, 2011

Concordia Historical Institute, in cooperation with Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, will host a traveling exhibit April 26 through May 20 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, the patriarch of colonial American Lutheranism. The exhibit was produced by the Francke Foundation of Halle, Germany, from which Muhlenberg was called to serve as a Lutheran pastor in America.

A special set of lectures by Dr. Robert Kolb, “‘So Much Began in Halle,’ The Mission Program That Sent Mühlenberg to America,” and Dr. Gerhard Bode, “Man on a Mission: Henry Melchior Muhlenberg and the Lutherans in America,” will open the exhibit on Tuesday, April 26, at 3:45 to 4:45 pm, at the Concordia Seminary Library in Fuerbringer Hall. A wine and cheese reception will follow the lectures at the Institute’s facilities where visitors may view the exhibit.

The exhibit, which consists of 20 full-color panels, celebrates the importance of Muhlenberg’s legacy to the American colonies and his place as patriarch and pillar of Lutheranism in North America.

Born September 6, 1711, in the town of Einbeck, then a part of the Duchy of Hanover, Muhlenberg is widely recognized as the most influential German-American cultural figure in 18th century America, spending 43 years in a vigorous engagement with life in colonial America, actively participating in community affairs throughout the colonies, closely observing all aspects of the world around him, and recording his daily activities in precise detail in journals and correspondence to friends in the colonies and Europe.

He officially served as pastor to congregations in Pennsylvania and New York, but even more importantly worked as an advisor to hundreds of small Lutheran settlements scattered across the colonial landscape. He traveled frequently, journeying by horseback, wooden sailboat and canoe to meet with settlers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina and Georgia. His descriptions of his travels and his work at these locations offer an unparalleled glimpse into the urban and rural landscapes, as well as the concerns of German settlers in 18th century colonial America.

The exhibit will be open Monday–Friday, 8:30am–4:00pm, in the Institute’s museum, 804 Seminary Place, Clayton. There is a $3.00 admission charge. Also on display are two series of 16th century woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer from the Institute’s own collection. For more information, call 314-505-7900 or email chi@lutheranhistory.org.

Correction: this notice originally stated that the exhibit ended on May 16. The exhibit will actually run through May 20, which happens to be the date of Concordia Seminary’s Commencement.

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