Permanent Collection

Lobby and St. Peter’s Basilica Cross

Lobby of the Knights of Columbus Museum

The massive main lobby welcomes visitors as they begin a dramatic journey through the history of the Knights of Columbus.

A statue by acclaimed sculptor Antonio Castellanos Basich depicts Cristeros martyred for their faith in Mexico during the 1920s. 

The two-story atrium beckons guests to explore temporary exhibits in the upper lobby.

Above the staircase hangs an ancient cross that was atop St. Peter’s Basilica for nearly 400 years.

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Father McGivney by Stanley Bleifield.

Father McGivney by Stanley Bleifeld

Father Michael J. McGivney Gallery and Reliquary

Father McGivney, who founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882, is being considered for sainthood by the Vatican.

The McGivney Gallery profiles his life and the reliquary contains second-class relics obtained during the exhumation of his remains in 1981.

The centerpiece of this gallery is a life-sized statue of Father McGivney by renowned sculptor Stanley Bleifeld.

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The Courtyard

The museum building envelops a beautiful exterior, center courtyard that remains green year round. In the elevated center court are fountains and cascading waterfalls, crowned by a dramatic Bleifeld statue of “Columbus, the Evangelizer.” In a meditative corner, a bronze plaque memorializes Knights lost while serving in World War II.

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The Papal Gallery

Guests feel as though they are transported to Rome, the Eternal City, in this gallery which traces the Order’s interactions with the Vatican since 1882. The Papal Gallery includes artwork, artifacts, archival material, papal medals, photographs and films, some dating back to 1896.

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Christopher Columbus Gallery

Christopher Columbus Galllery

Learn the reasons for the name Knights of Columbus and the patronage of the Catholic explorer by the Knights.

Significant artifacts in this gallery include the glazed ceramic tiles brought by the admiral on his second voyage in 1493 and used in construction and decoration of the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Other pieces in this gallery depict many of the various celebrations and observances associated with Columbus through the years, including the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and the 1992 Christopher Columbus Quincentennial.

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The Wall of History

The Knights of Columbus Wall of History runs for 170-feet, as it relates the mission and works of the Order at its founding through the present. A visual timeline, the Wall of History uses artifacts, objects, photographs and striking graphics to document the organizations major achievements.

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Theater

A short film introduces visitors to the origins and works of the Knights of Columbus, the largest lay Catholic organization in the world. The film also serves as a preface to the Museum, which was the top-ranked religious-themed museum in the nation by U.S.A. Today in 2002.

 


Media Center

Library and Archives

This repository for rare books and documents from the Order’s archives, features more than 400 Columbus-related volumes. Use of materials for scholarly intent is with permission and by appointment only.

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Media Information Center

Using touch-screen monitors, visitors can interactively explore the Order's origins, organization and outreach. Documenting “Knights in Action,” the Media Information Center is located midway along the Wall of History.