The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is the exclusive West Coast destination for Vatican Splendors: A Journey Through Faith and Art. Now on view through August 28, 2016, this 10,000 square-foot exhibition comprises one of the largest Vatican collections ever to tour the United States. Vatican Splendors includes an extraordinary collection of historical and religious objects, some of which date to the first century, as well as works of art by Michelangelo, Bernini, Guercino and others.
From the opening theater experience, where visitors will become immersed in the grandeur of the Vatican, to the closing object of a cast of Saint John Paul II’s hand (which guests may grasp), visitors will encounter the art, history and culture of the Vatican with unprecedented access and insight. This special presentation of art and objects includes many never before on display in North America, and some not on view to the general public, even in Rome.
Following its time at the Reagan Library, the items will return to the Vatican, from which they cannot be absent for more than one year. In addition to Michelangelo’s artwork, the exhibit also includes one of his signed documents and a rarely seen bas relief sculpture. Other objects include venerated remains (bone fragments) of Saints Peter and Paul, artifacts discovered at the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul, and historical objects from the modern and ancient basilicas of Saint Peter’s in Rome.
The objects are presented in galleries and recreated environments designed to enhance the understanding of their historical and artistic significance. Visitors will feel transported to the Vatican, from the underground catacombs where the remains of Saint Peter were discovered to the magnificent papal chambers found above ground. From the sights and sounds of the grand Basilica to a touchable cast of Saint John Paul II’s hand, the exhibition is a multi-sensory experience. It’s a true “insider's” view of the Vatican, including its spiritual, artistic and ceremonial treasures.
Advance tickets to visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, featuring the Air Force One Pavilion can be purchased online at this link. Tickets purchased for March 13, 2016 through August 28, 2016 will include admission into Vatican Splendors. The Reagan library offers more than 125,000 square feet of exhibits. Allow three to four hours to enjoy all of the galleries and grounds.
Vatican Splendors is organized and circulated in conjunction with the Congregazione per l’Evangelizzazione dei Popoli of the Vatican City State. Items in the collection—which include mosaics, frescoes, paintings by Renaissance masters, works by well-known sculptors, intricately embroidered silk vestments, precious objects from the Papal Mass, uniforms of the Papal Swiss Guard, historical maps and documents and relics are on loan from The Reverenda Fabbrica of Saint Peter, the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls, the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, the Vatican Library, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Apostolic Floreria, the Papal Swiss Guard, the Vatican Museums, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Private Papal Storehouse and private collections. The exhibition is produced by Evergreen Exhibitions, a world leader in providing high quality, state-of-the-art exhibitions in collaboration with more than 200 leading museums and research institutions in the United States and internationally.