Art Buzz June 20, 2012: Museum of Biblical Art raises profile amid challenges

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Museum of Biblical Art raises profile amid challenges

Source: USA Today, 6-20-12

Ena Heller, the founding director of the Museum of Biblical Art in New York. Heller will leave the museum after 15 years of service as it fights to secure funding and maintain the lease on its location near Lincoln Center.

Ena Heller/Religion News Service

Ena Heller, the founding director of the Museum of Biblical Art in New York. Heller will leave the museum after 15 years of service as it fights to secure funding and maintain the lease on its location near Lincoln Center.

When art historian Bruce Boucher wanted to reunite the three panels of a huge 14th-century altarpiece from three different countries, the Italian lender of one of the pieces had one condition: the finished product had to be shown at a big-city museum.

Ena Heller, the founding director of the Museum of Biblical Art in New York. Heller will leave the museum after 15 years of service as it fights to secure funding and maintain the lease on its location near Lincoln Center.

“And of course,” said Boucher, director of the University of Virginia Art Museum, “I immediately thought of MOBiA.”

It was a high compliment to the small institution in a city that’s awash in better-known art museums, and to Ena Heller, the Romanian emigrant with a Ph.D. in art history who has led the Museum of Biblical Art as its founding director for the past 15 years.

The exhibit featuring the triptych, “The Adoration of the Magi by Bartolo di Fredi: A Masterpiece Reconstructed,” is the latest in a string of unexpected successes for MOBiA, which has hosted well-received exhibits ranging from a collection of Peruvian folk art to masterpieces by Marc Chagall to a recent collection of wartime Bibles….READ MORE

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