Floor 1: Overview - Entry Glass Vestibule

Published: Oct 13, 2017

Posted In: Background

Entry Glass Vestibule: By Artist Larry Kirkland
A freestanding art-glass window comprised of 16 panels 32 feet tall and 13 feet 5 inches wide, with panes four feet high and four feet wide, defines the entry vestibule to Museum of the Bible. Engraved on the front face of each of the art-glass panels is a translation of the 19th Psalm in 16 languages chosen by the museum’s curators: 
  • Greek
  • Latin
  • Syriac
  • Hebrew
  • Ge’ez
  • Coptic
  • Swahili
  • Arabic
  • German
  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Hindi
  • Korean

Artist’s Inspiration

One of the oldest artifacts belonging to Museum of the Bible is a fragment of the Bodmer Papyri. This group of 22 papyri was found in 1952 in Egypt near the ancient headquarters of an order of monks.  There are some 50 texts in all, suggesting they were part of the monks’ library. They include religious texts as well as the Iliad by Homer and Greek comedies of Menander.

The fragment owned by Museum of the Bible is written in ancient Greek and contains the 19th Psalm from the Hebrew Bible. It begins with, “The Heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handy work…There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.” It ends with, “O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.”

Development and Fabrication Process

The 19th Psalm has been re-created in the art glass by a combination of glass printing, overpainting and engraving. It was made at Mayer of Munich Glass Works, one of the most renowned art-glass manufacturers in the world.