Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Buon Natale Creches of Italy Exhibit at the Knights of Columbus Museum

The Knights of Columbus Museum’s 10th annual Christmas crèche exhibition, Buon Natale: Crèches of Italy, features two dozen Italian inspired Nativity scenes on display. The highlight of the show is a 120-square-foot Neapolitan diorama.

Crèches have been a popular part of Western Christianity for more than 800 years. Introduced in Italy by St. Francis of Assisi, they served as a way for everyday people to reflect on Jesus’ modest birth. Through the centuries, crèches have developed into large and ornate displays in communities as well as humble presentations for homes.

Perhaps the most recognizable and popular style is the Neapolitan crèche. These Nativity scenes placed the Holy Family not in the stable setting of Bethlehem but in the heart of 16th-century Naples. These elegant and elaborate scenes feature the Child Jesus in the midst not only of adoring cherubs and shepherds, but also among ladies and gentlemen of nobility, merchants, musicians and various commoners; literally among the active daily life of the community.

Buon Natale: Crèches of Italy is on view from Dec. 1, 2014 until Feb. 1, 2015. To find out more, please visit the Knights of Columbus Museum website at http://www.kofcmuseum.org/km/en/exhibits/2014/creches/index.html

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