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Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe

Fact Sheet


Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe


Feb. 13-May 15, 2011


The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201


Medieval Christians venerated saints; their bodily remains were often displayed in special containers, known as reliquaries. Covered in gold and silver and embellished with gems and semiprecious stones, reliquaries proclaimed the special status of their sacred contents to worshipers and pilgrims. For this reason, reliquaries emerged as important objects of artistic innovation, as expressions of civic and religious identity, and as focal points of ritual action. This exhibition, of 133 works, will explore the emergence and transformation of several key types of reliquary, moving from an age in which saintly remains were enshrined within closed containers to an era in which relics were increasingly presented directly to worshipers, from Late Antiquity until the Reformation and beyond.


Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.


Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, Oct. 17, 2010-Jan. 17, 2011
The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Md., Feb. 13-May 15, 2011
The British Museum, London, U.K., June 23-Oct. 9, 2011


This project received important early support through planning grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Magnanimous gifts from Paul Ruddock and an anonymous benefactor made the catalogue possible. We acknowledge with gratitude the support of Marilyn and George Pedersen and the Sheridan Foundation which, together with additional implementation funds from the Kress Foundation, a Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts made the exhibition possible. Additional support is provided by an anonymous donor, Ellen and Ed Bernard, Ann K. Clapp, Mary Jo and Ted Wiese, Stanley Mazaroff and Nancy L. Dorman, and the Associated Sulpicians of the United States.


General museum information: 410-547-9000 or

For press inquiries, email or call 410-547-9000, ext. 277.

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