About the Exhibit
The family lineages of European houses of nobility are continual sources of fascination, due to their long and storied histories. One of the oldest houses still in existence is the House of Stolberg, which originated in the heart of Germany in 1210. This dynasty had a deeply held bond with the Bible, revealed by an allusion to Psalm 31:14–15 imprinted on their coat of arms: “My destiny and my salvation lie in the hands of the Lord.”
In this exhibition presented by Museum of the Bible, we tell the stories of seven women from the House of Stolberg, highlighting the way the Bible served as their lives’ guiding principle and the standard for their decisions. Anna, the first woman presented in the exhibition, was born in 1504, and Magdalene, the last, died in 1955. Between them were Juliana, the “Mother of Maccabees”; Christine, the pious duchess; Sophie Eleonore, the Pietist collector; Louise Maximiliane, the “queen of hearts;” and Augusta Louise, “the unnamed beloved.”
These women ensured the permanence of the House of Stolberg through marriage, offspring and education, and their establishment and organization of networks throughout Europe. As abbesses, countesses, princesses, wives and mothers, they passed on values of family and faith to the next generations. All seven were strong women closely connected to family and children and to war, violence, and death. All seven found comfort and support, motivation, and hope in the Bible. This exhibition offers an intimate view into the lives of these seven very different personalities. Their portraits, letters and signatures displayed in the exhibition not only reveal their individuality but inspire curiosity to learn more about their thrilling lives.