Portrait of Martin Luther
Hans Brosamer (German, 1506-1554)
Portrait of Martin Luther
Hand-colored woodcut, c.1540
Portrait of Martin Luther

Stirring the World: Printmaking in the Age of Luther 2017

The Reformation era boldly shaped the development of our modern world and forged pathways for diverse belief systems existing today. Artistic and cultural advancements of the time were vital in forming our modern sensibility of free self-expression. The fifteenth-century invention of the printing press represented transformative technology that expanded the ability to think differently and communicate widely.

In marking the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the Thrivent Collection of Religious Art presents Stirring the World: Printmaking in the Age of Luther, a collaborative exhibition with the Center Art Gallery, Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The exhibition considers contextual history surrounding the Reformation period including the onset of the Renaissance, a growing interest in Humanism, the invention of the printing press, and print culture of the time. Exploring this historic period and its artistic progressions, from new kinds of subject matter and media to individual artists’ contributions, illuminates how art reflected many of the extraordinary shifts occurring across society.