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Oklahoma City Museum of Art to feature ‘Passages,' an exhibit of rare biblical texts and artifacts

A portion of Hobby Lobby's President Steve Green's extensive collection of biblical art will be put on exhibit called “Passages” that opens May 16 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
BY CHRIS CASTEEL ccasteel@opubco.com Modified: March 31, 2011 at 8:02 pm •  Published: March 31, 2011

— The Oklahoma City Museum of Art will be the first stop for a worldwide traveling exhibition of historic biblical texts and artifacts collected by Hobby Lobby President Steve Green, who announced here Thursday that the exhibition, marking the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, would open May 16.

“It will have some of the most incredible rare biblical artifacts in private hands in the world,” Green said. “It will tell the story of the history of the English Bible.”

Green unveiled plans for the traveling exhibition at the Vatican Embassy, where business, government, academic and religious leaders gathered to view some of the items that will be in Oklahoma City next month.

The interactive exhibition, called “Passages,” will encompass 14,000 square feet and be the worldwide debut of the Green Collection, one of the world's largest privately held collections of biblical texts and artifacts.

The exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art will run through Oct. 16 before a portion of it focusing on the Catholic contribution to the King James Bible goes to Vatican City. “Passages” then will go to New York, although a date has not been announced.

“The opportunity to present such a vast and important collection of biblical artifacts is exceptional,” said Glen Gentele, president and CEO of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. “The exhibition provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience for guests to engage with these rare materials at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.”

“Passages” will be composed of about 300 items from the 30,000-item Green Collection, which is directed by Scott Carroll, a specialist in ancient and medieval manuscripts.

“The Bible didn't come from Mount Sinai to Moses and end up in a Red Roof Inn desk drawer,” Carroll said. “There was a process, and ‘Passages' tells the dramatic story of that process.”

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