Thrivent Collection of Religious Art

Art with religious subject matter can tell us stories about who we are and give us opportunities to reflect on our lives, beliefs and faith. We invite you to join us in celebrating inspiring works of art created by centuries of artists across the globe.

Attributed to Martino di Bartolomeo, St. John the Baptist Preaching, late 14th century. Gouache, ink, gilding on vellum.

Attributed to Martino di Bartolomeo, "St. John the Baptist Preaching," late 14th century. Gouache, ink, gilding on vellum.

Preserving, sharing & reflecting on important works of art

The Thrivent Collection of Religious Art is unique among corporate art collections because of its focus on original works on paper and paintings with religious and scriptural subject matter.

  • Started in 1982.
  • More than 1,200 objects in the collection.
  • Pieces range from the 13th to 21st centuries.
  • Artists include Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Édouard Manet and Pablo Picasso.

The Collection exists as an expression of Thrivent's commitment to provide cultural and educational opportunities to its members and community. We strive to make this collection accessible for communities across the globe by offering public lectures and gallery shows as well as traveling exhibitions and educational programming.

Upcoming book release: Inspiring Generosity

Our own experiences through art can help us find new ways to ponder familiar stories and ideas. We believe the artist's contribution is worth celebrating – and preserving. This is why we have created a new book that explores modern connections to timeless ideas and values. The book is titled Inspiring Generosity: Stories of Faith and Grace in Art and is scheduled to release in autumn 2018.

Watch a video about the book

Current exhibition :
In Relief: Six Centuries of Woodcuts

The woodcut is the oldest form of original printmaking. The medium appeared in Europe around 1400, but woodcuts were used in other cultures and areas of the world centuries prior. To create a woodcut print, the artist draws a design onto a block of wood. The blank space of the image is then carved away, leaving the artist’s design raised up in relief. The carved woodblock acts as a stamp when inked and pressed onto the printing surface.

In the late medieval and early modern periods, woodcuts offered an ideal format to reproduce simple religious icons and pictures, which were popular devotional mementos for Christian pilgrims to religious sites and festivals. The invention of the printing press in Europe in 1453 heightened the demand for woodcut illustrations. As the technique became more refined, woodcut images became gradually more sophisticated. Near the end of the fifteenth century, the German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer advanced the medium far beyond any single artist or craftsman before him.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, modern artists concerned about industrialization were inspired by the handmade integrity and spiritual potential exemplified in early religious woodcuts. German expressionists like Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Emil Nolde, and Max Pechstein infused in a variety of ways the thick, solid black lines of the fifteenth and sixteenth-century German woodcut with abstract forms to create new and expressive prints for modern society. In Relief: Six Centuries of Woodcuts highlights enduring popularity of the woodcut as an artistic medium, as well as the exciting variation this traditional technique has experienced over the centuries. The exhibition is open through September 2018.

Attributed to Martino di Bartolomeo, St. John the Baptist Preaching, late 14th century. Gouache, ink, gilding on vellum.

Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528)
St. Michael Fighting the Dragon from The Apocalypse
Woodcut, 1498 (1511 edition)

To schedule a tour of this exhibition at the Thrivent Gallery of Religious Art, please contact:

Joanna Reiling Lindell
Director and Curator, Thrivent Collection of Religious Art

625 Fourth Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55415


Monday – Friday
9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.