In 1928, the Ecclesiastical Arts studio began its ministry under the United Lutheran Publishing House. After World War II, the studio grew rapidly, responding in time with new products when the church experienced such liturgical changes as the ordination of women and freestanding altars. Today the studio has found a home with Augsburg Fortress, Publishers.
The ELCA is the only U.S. denomination with an art and design studio. "Visionary Lutherans made a commitment to pair the ecclesiastical arts with the publishing arts," says Foy Christopherson, the studio's general manager. "Textiles, vestments, carvings, precious metals and stained-glass windows were a primary means of communicating the gospel from generation to generation.... Lutheran reformers took advantage of both the printing press and ecclesiastical art."
That advantage continues to show in the studio's 3 percent annual business growth. Its work is showcased via two annual catalogs, conventions, churchwide assemblies and at www.augsburgfortress.org/ecclesiasticalarts.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers