June 20, 2019

Press Release

Glow-in-the-Dark Apocalyptic Tapestry Exhibit Comes to Museum of the Bible, Media Preview Day Scheduled for July 1

Washington, June 20, 2019– Developed over the course of nearly 20 years, The Tapestry of Light is the first full-visual interpretation of the story of John’s Apocalypse in tapestry form in over 500 years, and the first known to be by a woman. Set to open at Museum of the Bible on July 6, members of the media will have the opportunity to preview this unique, glow-in-the-dark temporary exhibit Monday, July 1, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Inspired by the Angers Apocalypse Tapestry in France, Australian artist Dr. Irene Barberis set out on a journey to explore apocalyptic art, specifically focusing on themes of theology, revelation and light. Her goal was to highlight the effects of light as a process of revelation that is both seen and experienced, reflecting medieval ideas of illumination as a means of “illuminating” the soul.

Dr. Barberis collaborated with Dr. Michelle P. Brown, former curator of illuminated manuscripts at the British Library, and Dr. David Mainwaring, a scientist and colleague at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. The Tapestry of Light is the result of this collaboration. It features a series of images created by Barberis, assisted in interpretation by Brown, using new nanotechnology invented by Mainwaring. First displayed in 2017 in the chancel of the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in Brussels, Belgium, this 36-meter-long, glow-in-the-dark tapestry in six panels weaves together the story of the Apocalypse as detailed in the biblical books of Revelation and Daniel. Its exhibition at Museum of the Bible will be the first time the tapestry has been shown in the United States.

WHAT: The Tapestry of Light: A 21st-Century Apocalypse Media Preview Day with self-guided tours and curators on hand for interviews. Tour of the exhibit is approximately 30 minutes, including a timed light cycle of nine minutes.


  • Irene Barberis, PhD – Artist; Senior Lecturer at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
  • Amy Van Dyke – Lead Curator of Art and Exhibitions, Museum of the Bible

WHEN: Monday, July 1, 10 a.m.-noon

WHERE: Museum of the Bible, Washington, D.C.
Floor B1

For more information about The Tapestry of Light, including a video with Dr. Barberis and select images from the exhibition, click here.