CANCELLED: Sadao Watanabe Vespers and Opening Reception

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Date(s) - 01/18/2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Duke University Chapel

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Due to inclement weather, this event has been cancelled.

Duke Initiatives in Theology & the Arts (DITA) at Duke Divinity School is partnering with Duke University Chapel to host a historical traveling exhibition of Japanese artist Sadao Watanabe’s portrayals of over 50 biblical scenes and themes.

The Biblical Prints of Sadao Watanabe, a series of fifty stencil prints, calendars and cards on biblical themes by Japan’s foremost Christian artist Sadao Watanabe (1913-1996). The art will be displayed at Duke University Chapel from January 9 through February 21, 2018. A community reception will be held at 7:00 p.m. January 18, 2018 in the Chapel’s narthex (entryway).


Interested in communicating his Christian beliefs to other Japanese, Watanabe translated biblical narratives into Japanese settings using the traditional Japanese folk art of katazome stencil dying. The resulting body of art is revered as a valuable contribution to the history of Christian art, and his prints are in many international collections including the Vatican Museum, National Galleries in Washington, DC and London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.

Watanabe’s fame notwithstanding, the artist’s chief desire was to create art that could be displayed in ordinary settings and was accessible to a wide audience. Beauty Given by Grace fulfills Watanabe’s wish, as it travels to different venues across the North America.