The Museum continues a longstanding holiday tradition with the presentation of its Christmas tree, a favorite of New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. The brightly lit, twenty-foot blue spruce features eighteenth-century Neapolitan angels and cherubs hovering among its boughs and groups of realistic crèche figures flanking the Nativity scene at its base. The installation will be set in front of the eighteenth-century Spanish choir screen from the Cathedral of Valladolid, with Christmas music in the background and daily lighting ceremonies.
The towering tree is adorned with twenty-two cherubs and fifty-five gracefully suspended angels, while the landscape at the base features an additional sixty-nine figures that represent the three elements of Nativity scenes traditional to eighteenth-century Naples: adoring shepherds and their flocks, the procession of the three Magi, and colorful peasants and townspeople. The display is enhanced by fifty charming animals and by background pieces that create a dramatic setting for the Nativity, including the ruins of a Roman temple, several quaint houses, and a typical Italian fountain.
The exhibit of the crèche is made possible by gifts to The Christmas Tree Fund and the Loretta Hines Howard Fund.