WASHINGTON — Canadian master sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz will return to Museum of the Bible to complete a new work, “Three Wise Men.” The sculpture will depict “wise men from the east,” described in the Gospel of Matthew, who visited the baby Jesus after his birth and brought with them gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In Christian art and tradition, they are often depicted as three kings or as mystical sages. Visitors to the museum may observe and interact with Schmalz as he sculpts this unique piece daily starting Friday, Dec. 11, through Sunday, Dec. 13, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“Timothy Schmalz is exceptionally gifted, and we are fortunate to have his work featured in the museum,” said Harry Hargrave, CEO of Museum of the Bible. “His pieces invite the viewer into the biblical story. This is especially true of ‘Three Wise Men’ — one feels a sense of mystery and awe looking on these men of nobility who followed the star to find God’s perfect light: the Christ child.”
Schmalz is a world-renowned sculptor who draws inspiration from Scripture, bringing biblical characters and spiritual themes to life through his large-scale sculptures. He also creates monuments in honor of veterans, first responders and historical figures, as well as sculptures of poetic and operatic works. His pieces have been installed in numerous countries and his sculpture “Homeless Jesus” (2013), perhaps his most well-known work, was installed in the Vatican and blessed by Pope Francis in 2016.
“I am devoted to creating artwork that glorifies Christ. The reason for this devotion, apart from my Christian beliefs, is that an artist needs an epic subject to create epic art,” Schmalz writes in his artist statement on his website. “I describe my sculptures as being visual prayers. When I create a three-dimensional sculpture in bronze, I am quite aware that it will last longer than myself. I realize I am between two things that are much more durable than myself: Christianity and bronze metal. It is between these that I have developed a subtle appreciation for what Saint Francis meant by ‘instrument.’”
While sculpting, Schmalz will describe his process to guests. “Three Wise Men” will be officially unveiled on Sunday, Dec. 13, the museum’s “Family Fun Day.” Guests will have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with Schmalz, as well as in family crafts and a scavenger hunt. The “Family Fun Day” also features Reverend Jack Hurley from the Cathedral of St. Matthews, who will speak on the wise men mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew. Harpist and singer Erin Hill, who has appeared on Broadway and television and has played alongside Cyndi Lauper, Josh Groban, two first ladies and royalty, will dazzle guests with classic Christmas music. Harry Hargrave, the museum’s chief executive officer, and Christina Cox from the National Museum of Catholic Art and Library will co-host the event.
More information on Schmalz and “Three Wise Men” is available here.
Tickets can be purchased here.
More information on Museum of the Bible is available here.