July 8, 2012
DEAD SEA SCROLLS: LIFE AND FAITH IN ANCIENT TIMES EXHIBITION COMES TO CINCINNATI MUSEUM CENTER NOV. 16
Broad range of community support helps to bring largest collection of Holy Land artifacts to Cincinnati
CINCINNATI – Beginning Nov. 16, you can witness Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times at Cincinnati Museum Center. This new blockbuster exhibition features the most comprehensive collection of ancient artifacts from Israel ever organized, including one of the largest collections of the priceless 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls displayed in North America. This exhibition is created by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) from the collections of the Israel National Treasures and produced by Discovery Times Square and The Franklin Institute.
"I am excited that these 2,000-year-old biblical manuscripts from the Judean Desert caves will be in Cincinnati. These are some of the most important ancient manuscripts in the world and, with the support of several renowned community partners, they will be exhibited at Cincinnati Museum Center," said Douglass W. McDonald, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. "As a young seminarian, I studied these early Jewish and pre-Christian texts of the Old Testament. I never expected to personally see these ancient handwritten texts about the ancient Western Civilization. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in our community and another example of partners coming together doing remarkable things which make our city great."
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and unearthed in caves on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea from 1947-1956. Considered among the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries, the Scrolls contain the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible. Of the more than 600 objects from the Biblical to Byzantine Period in Israel, many objects are from recent archaeological excavations in Jerusalem and have never been publicly exhibited. Objects include remains of religious articles, fragments of the Scrolls, weapons of war, stone carvings, textiles and beautiful mosaics, along with everyday household items such as jewelry and ceramics. In addition, the exhibition features a compelling scale recreation of a section of Jerusalem’s Western (or Wailing) Wall – complete with an authentic three-ton stone from the Wall in Israel.
The Cincinnati community has already embraced the exhibition. We are thankful for the broad range of funders who have stepped up to support the exhibition and help bring it to Cincinnati. Local community partners include The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Dioceses of Southern Ohio, SC Ministry Foundation, Office of the Provost, University of Cincinnati and Xavier University, among others.
"The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati is delighted to be the Presenting Sponsor of the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. This is an excellent opportunity for our community to experience something thoroughly unique," said Michael R. Oestreicher, president of The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati. "We believe that this exhibit will enrich our community as it showcases these precious artifacts so full of significance in Judeo-Christian tradition. Dead Sea Scrolls will engage people from many different backgrounds, faiths and cultures."
Cincinnati has a very special and unique part in the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls which will be highlighted in the exhibition. Hebrew Union College and former president (1947-1971), Dr. Nelson Glueck, played an important role in the events surrounding the scrolls from the time they were discovered. This included efforts to recover some of the scrolls from antiquities dealers, authenticating the scrolls, early academic debate about the significance and dating of the scrolls and participating in the scholarly efforts surrounding the scrolls.
Further enhancing the Dead Sea Scrolls experience will be a series of programs leading up to and throughout the run of the exhibition showcasing the science of archaeology and real objects from biblical times.
This exhibition is created by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) from the collections of the Israel National Treasures and produced by Discovery Times Square and The Franklin Institute. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Risa Levitt Kohn (Professor at San Diego State University) and Debora Ben Ami (Iron Age collection curator at the IAA). Planning and design by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, New York, NY.
Discovery Times Square (DTS) is New York City’s first large-scale exhibition center presenting visitors with limited-run, educational and immersive exhibit experiences while exploring the world’s defining cultures, art, history and events. More than a museum, DTS has featured a renowned line-up of exhibitions including Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Workshop, King Tut, Pompeii The Exhibit, and Harry Potter: The Exhibition. DTS is located at 226 West 44th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenues).
Located in the heart of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute is a renowned and innovative leader in the field of science and technology learning, as well as a dynamic center of activity. Pennsylvania’s most visited museum, it is dedicated to creating a passion for learning about science by offering access to hands-on science education. Considered one of the great science centers in the nation and the world, The Franklin Institute is known for blockbuster exhibits, one- of-a-kind theatrical experiences, and cutting-edge community learning with national influence. All are aimed at explaining science in ways that impact people’s lives. For more information, visit www.fi.edu.
About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution as well as national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, Museum Center was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Our Union Terminal has been voted the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within Cincinnati Museum Center include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, Cincinnati Museum Center welcomes one million plus visitors annually. Cincinnati Museum Center gratefully acknowledges operating and capital support from the taxpayers of Hamilton County and the State of Ohio. For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org.