MANSFIELD — BibleWalk, one of the country’s leading Christian attractions and Ohio’s only life-size wax museum, celebrates their 34th anniversary this year with the addition of Joseph Barta’s Museum of Woodcarving. The museum grand opening takes place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 15.
The world famous Museum of Woodcarving is the largest collection of woodcarvings in the world created by one man. It took Mr. Barta thirty years to research and carve his vision of Bible stories into 100 life-size figures. Barta spent over four and a half years completing his life-size carving of The Last Supper, spending two years working on the face of Jesus.
“We are very honored not only to continue to share Joseph Barta’s amazing woodcarvings with the world, but also in preserving and sharing his legacy with future generations,” said BibleWalk Director Julie Mott-Hardin.
Museum of Woodcarving found its home in Spooner, Wisconsin, for more than 32 years. It was moved by the owners to Kissimmee, Florida, in 1984, but returned to Wisconsin in 1989 finding its home in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. The Museum of Woodcarving remained in Wisconsin until August of 2020 when it made its final move to Mansfield, relocating to BibleWalk.
Maria Mckay, Joseph Barta’s niece and former owner of the museum, shared one of her stories.
“The impact on viewers is such that voices are hushed as they look,” she said. “At one time an elderly woman said to him, ‘These carvings don’t belong to you. They belong to God. No man could make them.’ No one knew better than Joe that he had received help. Whenever he was in doubt about how to portray a figure, he prayed.”
Museum of Woodcarving becomes BibleWalk’s seventh tour joining The Life of Christ, Miracles of the Old Testament, The Heart of the Reformation, Museum of Christian Martyrs, Amazing Grace-The Journeys of Paul, and the most recent tour that opened in July 2020, The Kingdom of God.
BibleWalk is also home to many one-of-a-kind exhibits: American Votive Folk Art, Word Picture Art, John Burn’s woodcarvings, rare Bibles, and the Walk of The Parables. BibleWalk is also home to its own dinner theater.
Admission for the new self-guided tour for Museum of Woodcarving is $5 for adults, $4.75 for seniors, and $4 for students.
For further information and/or pictures Julie Mott-Hardin can be contacted at 419-524-0139 or 800-222-0139, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the website at biblewalk.us. BibleWalk is located at 500 Tingley Avenue, Mansfield.