The Ralph and Birgitta Peterson Collection of Modern Religious Art
In 2019, Rev Dr. Ralph Peterson donated a major collection of art related to religion and spirituality, amassed during his leadership of Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church in the heart of midtown Manhattan. Under Fr Ralph’s guidance, the community built a landmark modern church designed by Hugh Stubbins and Easley Hamner, and commissioned an immersive sculptural chapel by Louise Nevelson, one of the twentieth century’s most important artists.
Fr Ralph presided over an impressive arts program that witnessed performances and readings by Edward Albee and Kurt Vonnegut, and numerous jazz legends including Duke Ellington.
Fr Ralph’s gift to Wesley Theological Seminary includes original sculptures and paintings by Louise Nevelson, Brother Eric of Taizé, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, and Todd Siler as well as original prints by Marc Chagall, Georges Rouault, and Georges Braque.
We are also particularly excited to benefit from Fr Ralph’s sustained interest in collecting works by non-Western artists, including a diverse assembly of Coptic icons, Ethiopian processional crosses, Navajo weavings, and Latin American devotional paintings.