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Ratner Museum in Bethesda, Maryland

If you are looking to view some amazing art, the Ratner museum may be just what you are looking for.  Here you will find the works of the great artist Phillip Raner who was the chosen artist for the statues on Ellis Island.  You have probably seen his work as it is on display all over Washington DC in areas such as the U.S. Supreme Court, the Smithsonian, Library of Congress and the National Zoo among other locations. 


He worked in a variety of mediums and really focused on the Hebrew Bible, which Christians call the Old Testament.  He loved the stories of the Bible and combines that love with his love for art. As you walk through the museum you will find artwork that he has made just for this particular location.  He may depict the same person several times in his art as he tried to tell a story through it. He chooses to see the images of the people in his mind with various clothing that he will then depict into a form of art.


Ellis Island Statues


This unique museum offers a window inside what it took to make the sculptures you see on Ellis Island.  Here you can find model sculptures that were used to create the full-size sculptures you see today on the Island.  School groups often frequent the museum to show students how large sculptures are created and the creative process that is behind it.  

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The museum is ever-growing with heartfelt made art from Phillip Ratner.  The first floor has a rotating exhibit that was created through community partnerships.  For example, the museum allows for Cornerstone Montgomery to have gallery space here, free of charge of course.  And, they open their doors for Wounded Warriors and artists with mental health issues as well.


Phillip Ratner a Great Artist


If you are lucky, you may meet the artist as he is often on the grounds of the museum.  This museum is currently only open to groups and isn't open to the general public. If you love the bible stories and all that go along with it, this is a place to see, however, you will have to find a group that is attending.  


However, you can see Phillip Ratner's work there are plenty of general public areas that you can see it.  And, it is located all over the United States and the world for that matter. You might just be closer to his work in your hometown.  He has work displayed in Spertus Museum in Chicago, Illinois and West Point Chapel in New York. There are many displays around Washington DC as mentioned previously.  And of course, you could always visit Ellis Island, which is a place that holds so much American history.  


If you are overseas he has another museum in Israel called the Bible museum in Beer.  He focuses mainly on the biblical theme and has degrees from Pratt Institute and American University.  As a retired teacher, he taught school in Washington DC while building up his reputation as an artist.

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