Many of the works and documents exhibited in “Vatican Splendors: A Journey through Faith and Art” have never been on public display or previously left the Vatican. Therefore, this exhibition has provided an occasion for undertaking a careful restoration and conservation process that will preserve these objects for future generations.
The following institutions have lent the objects for this exhibition, one of the largest collections from the Vatican ever to tour North America:
The Reverenda Fabbrica of Saint Peter
The Reverenda Fabbrica is responsible for the administration and upkeep, not only of the interior and exterior of the Basilica, but also of Saint Peter’s Square, the sacristy, the papal grottoes, the Scavi in and around the tomb of Saint Peter, the Vatican mosaic studio, and the vast Fabbrica archives and collections of art and artifacts. It is also responsible for the management and welfare of all workers and pilgrims who visit the Basilica.
The Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums are one of the most famous and renowned cultural institutions of the Holy See. They are known everywhere because of the masterpieces which the Roman Pontiffs have commissioned, collected and preserved during the ages. Together with the immense heritage of movable works of art, sculptures and paintings, which are displayed in the galleries, the precincts of the Vatican Museums include the most important and artistically significant rooms of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, such as the “Cappella Niccolina” with paintings by Beato Angelico, the “Appartamento Borgia” with decorations by Pinturicchio, the “Stanze” painted by Raphael and, of course, the Sistine Chapel with frescoes by Michelangelo, as well as the most important 15th century masters from Umbria and Tuscany.
Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls
This Basilica was founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine I over the burial place of Saint Paul.
Basilica of Saint Mary Major
This Basilica is the largest church in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Among the Patriarchal Basilicas of Rome, Saint Mary Major is the only one to have kept its original structure.
Officially established in 1448, the Vatican Library is the library of the Holy See and one of the oldest and largest in the world.
Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
Formerly known as the Congregation for the Propagation of Faith, it is the Vatican office that, since 1622, has had the responsibility of encouraging missionary activity throughout the world. Its archives are among the most important in the world and the documents conserved there are fundamental to the understanding of the histories of people from all over the world.
The office in charge of staging and decorations for papal celebrations and audiences.
The Papal Swiss Guard
The Papal Swiss Guard was founded in 1506 by Pope Julius II. Currently numbering about 110, they help protect the pope, guard the entrances to Vatican City and the Apostolic Palace, where the pope lives, and perform honor guard duties at Vatican ceremonies. They are noted for their colorful vestments: yellow-and-blue striped uniforms and helmets with either red, purple, or white plumes.