Uncertain Times: Martin Luther’s Remedies for the Soul

(Baltimore, MD)–In 1517 a young German monk named Martin Luther (1483–1546) publicly critiqued the Catholic Church, headed by the Pope in Rome. This action set in motion a social and religious upheaval throughout much of northern Europe that ultimately resulted in the Protestant split from the Catholic Church. The Walters Art Museum presents Uncertain Times: Martin Luther’s Remedies for the Soul, a one-gallery exhibition on view August 6 through October 29, 2017, to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Admission to the exhibition is free.

The exhibition focuses on the ways in which Martin Luther, the 16th-century German religious reformer, comforted the distressed souls of his contemporaries by approaching them as a compassionate friend rather than as a priest or theologian. Through sermons and personal letters, he offered practical guidance to help ease minds during a period of turmoil.

Uncertain Times includes approximately 20 objects designed for private use in daily life, including printed books and bibles with text or translations by Martin Luther, paintings, drawings, and prints, along with a traditional tankard used for drinking beer in German homes and taverns.

“Luther’s comforting message was simple and clear: he suggested that good friends could provide support during difficult times through comforting words, the warmth of fellowship, or the cheer of sharing a meal or a glass of beer,” said exhibition curator Yu Na Han, the Walters Zanvyl Krieger Curatorial Fellow.  “We have included an activity that invites Walters visitors to share their own words of hope and cheer on special cards and give them to family or friends, or leave them here to perhaps offer comfort to other visitors.”

Uncertain Times: Martin Luther’s Remedies for the Soul is generously supported by contributors to the annual fund of the Walters.

About the Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum, located in downtown Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon Cultural District at North Charles and Centre Streets, is free and open to the public. At the time of his death in 1931, museum founder Henry Walters left his entire collection of art to the city of Baltimore. Its collection includes ancient art, medieval art and manuscripts, decorative objects, Asian art, and Old Master and 19th-century paintings. The Museum Store offers distinctive gifts, jewelry and books based on the museum’s collections.

Free admission to the Walters Art Museum is made possible by the combined generosity of individual members, friends and benefactors, foundations, corporations, and grants from the City of Baltimore, Maryland State Arts Council, Citizens of Baltimore County, and Howard County Government and Howard County Arts Council.

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