Bridwell Library Exhibition to Examine Cultural Depictions of Death


DALLAS (SMU) – An exhibition featuring reflections on death and its meaning for Christian communities as expressed through art and literature opens Friday, Dec. 16, at Bridwell Library at Perkins School of Theology. The exhibit, titled “The Dance of Death,” will be on display through Saturday, May 20, 2017, in the entry hall at Bridwell Library. 

During the Middle Ages, a genre developed called the Dance of Death which depicted a personification of death leading a procession of people ranging from kings to paupers, emphasizing the mortality of all persons regardless of social status. The genre included poetry, prose works and visual art. While individual works sometimes focused exclusively on images or literature, many included both. This exhibition features images popularized in print by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) and explores the artist’s possible inspirations and his influence on subsequent illustrators.

For more information, contact Bridwell Library’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarian, R. Arvid Nelsen, 214-768-3440.

For more information about Bridwell Library:, 214.768.3483, or

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Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Pastoral Music as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.