The Museum of Biblical Art, located near Columbus Circle in New York, will close on June 14. The closing will occur after the final day of the Museum’s current exhibition, “Sculpture in the Age of Donatello.” The museum, which opened to the public in 2005, began as a gallery inside the American Bible Society (ABS) on Broadway before breaking off as an independent institution in 2004.
The Museum describes itself as “the nation’s only scholarly museum specifically working at the intersection of art and the Bible,” and takes a secular perspective on the Bible, seeing it as “a culturally foundational text, which has greatly influenced artists historically and continues to inspire the creation of countless important works of art today.” MOBIA regularly offered tours for school classes and adults, as well as special “access” programs for people with dementia and visual impairments.
The ABS sold its building in February, and will relocate to Philadelphia. The museum has been looking for a new home in New York ever since. According to a press release, the museum could not raise the funds to renovate and lease a new site in New York.
In a statement, the museum’s director, Richard P. Townsend, said, “I am deeply proud of what we have accomplished at MOBIA, and deeply sorry that we will not be able to present the many exciting exhibitions and projects we had planned for the coming years. Parting with our incomparable staff is extremely difficult and I want to express my profound gratitude to them and our Board for their commitment to the Museum and their exceptional achievements and service. I also want to thank our partners, advocates, members, and all our many visitors for their support and their enthusiastic embrace of our programs. They have made my tenure as director of the Museum both an honor and a pleasure.”