The Museum of Biblical Art in New York City is set to shutter in June, after its current show of Donatello sculptures ends.

Despite a positive review from the New York Times that helped draw in large crowds to see the Donatello display, which was flown in from the Duomo Museum in Florence, MOBIA was unable to raise enough money to keep its doors open. The American Bible Society, which owned the building located on Broadway in which the museum resided, sold the property and made plans to relocate to Philadelphia, probably due to high rent costs.

After the relocation, MOBIA could not manage to find a new home with their funding, despite their recent success. Elaine Ellis, Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees for MOBIA, stated, “It is painfully ironic that we must cease existence at the moment the Museum has achieved such prominence.”

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MOBIA originally started as a project by the American Bible Society but became independent in 2004, drawing in artists whose influence came from Biblical works of art rather being associated with an overtly religious organization. Most of their exhibitions were free and navigated the impact of Christianity and Judaism on art history.

The museum’s last day will be June 14, but hopefully it will rise again after three days.


Image via Museum of Biblical Art. Contact the author at jcm.the.writer@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter @notreallyjcm.