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Museum of Biblical Art to open in spring


NEW YORK (RNS) An art gallery at the American Bible Society in New York City has closed but will reopen next spring as an independent museum with a new name: the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA).

The new institution, inhabiting space recently occupied by The Gallery at the American Bible Society, will be the first scholarly museum of art and the Bible in the United States, said Ena Heller, who has served as the gallery's director and will head the new museum.

MOBIA hopes to create a space that explores "the meaning of religious art and artifacts in culture," though the museum's work will continue to be grounded in the biblical traditions of Christianity and Judaism, the museum announced.

An opening exhibition at the new museum, scheduled to begin May 12, 2005, will examine themes surrounding the Bible and self-taught artists of the American South. A companion show will examine the early history of the Bible in North America.