Duke University Chapel views the creative arts as both an expression of worship to God and an expression of human longing for God.

By creating art from the materials of creation, the creative arts reflect both the broken beauty and the glory of our created selves. Duke Chapel creates a space on campus for the artistic expression of the spiritual life by:

  • preserving the rich traditions of worship and sacred music, 
  • offering innovative opportunities for visual and performance arts, and
  • crafting student and community-based programming for ethnically, culturally, and religiously diverse aesthetic offerings.

We accomplish these goals with local, regional, and international partners, including: Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts, Duke Visual and Media Arts, the Nasher Museum for Art, Duke Performances, the Center for Documentary Studies, and the larger Durham community.

Duke Chapel Arts are made possible in part by the Office of the President and the generosity of friends of the Chapel


Current and Upcoming Exhibits in Duke Chapel

Beauty Given by Grace: The Biblical Prints of Sadao Watanabe

Duke Chapel is partnering with Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts (DITA) to host Beauty Given by Grace: The Biblical Prints of Sadao Watanabe, a series of 41 stencil prints on biblical themes by Japan's foremost Christian artist Sadao Watanabe (1913–1996). The art will be displayed at Duke University Chapel from January 9 through February 21, 2018. A community reception will be held at 7:00 p.m. February 15, 2018, in the Chapel's narthex (main entryway).

Interested in communicating his Christian beliefs to other Japanese, Watanabe translated biblical narratives into Japanese settings using the traditional Japanese folk art of katazome stencil dyeing. The resulting body of art is revered as a valuable contribution to the history of Christian art, and his prints are in many international collections including the Vatican Museum, National Galleries in Washington, DC, and London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.

Watanabe's fame notwithstanding, the artist's chief desire was to create art that could be displayed in ordinary settings and was accessible to a wide audience. Beauty Given by Grace fulfills Watanabe's wish, as it travels to different venues across North America.