Literally Luther. Facets of a Reformer


Whether monk or opponent of the Pope, loving family man, hero bursting with strength or plagued by great misery – Martin Luther had many facets. The LutherMuseen shed light on this in a special exhibition that is specially dedicated to the human side of the reformer. In doing so it is also important to take the contradictions of the powerful theologian into account. Along the alphabet unfold the periods of his life, his reformation work, but also his worries and hardships, relationships and ways of thinking. His courage to challenge the powerful people of his time sometimes shines through, while at other times his views are today cause for outrage.

As the doors of the Luther House close for a period of energy-efficient renovation, the exhibition ‘Literally Luther. Facets of a Reformer’ in the neighbouring Augusteum welcomes you to discover Luther. Across 350 square metres, the LutherMuseen present the highlights of their collections: Luther’s habit is among them, as is the first Wittenberg Complete Edition of the German Bible and the expressive Cranach portraits, which continue to shape the public image of the reformer to this day. A large-format silk painting, which shows Martin Luther as a Confucian scholar, is a special exhibit. This gift from Korean artist Cho Yong-jin (born in 1950) from 2017 will be shown in an exhibition for the first time and is a testament to Luther’s international impact.

However, the focus is also on everyday things such as Luther’s relationship to beer or children’s toys, which were found during excavations around Luther’s Parents’ Home in Mansfeld. This and other finds are on loan from the State Office for the Preservation of Monuments and Archaeology of Saxony-Anhalt. A special role in the life of the reformer was played by the Black Monastery in Wittenberg, where he lived as a monk, and which later became a residence for him and his family. His wife Katharina von Bora ran a successful house and farm here, including a brewery cellar.

The heart of the Luther House is the Luther Room, which is currently not accessible due to renovation. Visitors can experience this authentic space, in which the famous table speeches took place, in the exhibition as an installation of light and image.


dunkle Wände, fliegende Blätter, links Kanzel
dunkle Wände, goldenes Gemälde

Luther von A bis Z

Im Fokus stehen aber auch alltägliche Dinge wie Luthers Verhältnis zum Bier oder Kinderspielzeug, das bei Grabungen rund um Luthers Elternhaus in Mansfeld gefunden wurde. Diesen und weitere Funde stellt das Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt als Leihgaben zur Verfügung. Eine besondere Rolle spielte im Leben des Reformators das Schwarze Kloster in Wittenberg, in dem er als Mönch lebte, und das später für ihn und seine Familie zum Wohnhaus wurde. Seine Frau Katharina von Bora führte hier eine erfolgreiche Haus- und Hofwirtschaft samt Braukeller.


Der Mönch war's!