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Guide to the Museum of Biblical Art Records
1997-2015
 MS 3094

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Andy Latoni

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on September 09, 2019
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Historical Note

The Museum of Biblical Art (MoBiA) was an institution located in New York City that sought to remain religiously neutral while pursuing its key mission of providing insight into the ways that the Bible has influenced art. It was originally created as the Gallery at the American Bible Society in 1997 with Ena Heller placed as its director. It was not until 2005 that it officially became its own independent institution and was renamed as the Museum of Biblical Art. However, despite the fact that MoBiA was a separate institution from the American Bible Society (ABS), it continued to be located within the ABS headquarters and received a large majority of its funds from ABS as well.

Its first exhibition was "Coming Home! Self-Taught Artists, the Bible and the American South." Due to that fact that MoBiA did not house a permanent collection of its own, most of its exhibitions over the next decade required loans from other institutions and artists. Other exhibitions included "Biblical Art in a Secular Century," "Chagall's Bible," and "Louis C. Tiffany and the Art of Devotion." Such exhibitions included a broad range of works from several different regions and time periods. Its last exhibition was "Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces from Florence Cathedral" which featured pieces that had never before been shown in the United States.

In 2015, the American Bible Society moved its headquarters from New York City to Philadelphia. Since MoBiA had previously been able to rent its location in ABS for a very minimal price, the museum now found it a challenge to find a new location that it would be able to afford. Therefore, by the summer of 2015, the Museum of Biblical Art officially closed due to financial constraints.