The ideas and discoveries of Martin Luther, Christopher Columbus (c. 1451–1506) and Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) have, at the beginning of the 16th century, turned the world known up until then upside down. Whether by “discovering” a new continent, the Reformation of the church or the heliocentric world-view: “Luther, Columbus and Copernicus questioned fundamental conceptions, deemed until then without alternative, of the nature of the world”, explains Dr. Thomas Eser, curator of the exhibition “Luther, Columbus and the consequences” at the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg.
On the occasion of the anniversary of the Reformation, the museum focuses with this special exhibition on the consequences of these revolutionary changes. Around 200 exhibits illustrate the simultaneity of a pioneering spirit and an apocalyptic mood, of thirst for knowledge and a ban on curiosity. Among others, handwritten manuscripts of Luther, Columbus and Copernicus can be seen for the first time in Germany.
“After a highly-regarded exhibition on the occasion of Martin Luther’s 500th birthday, the Germanic National Museum again takes a Reformation anniversary as an occasion for a special exhibition. According to the spirit of time, we put the Reformation era now in a larger context of the history of mentality and culture and draw parallels until the present time”, declares enthusiastically the director general, professor Dr. Großmann, about the concept of the exhibition.