Christmas in New York is magical! Window displays that delight the senses, festive programs throughout the city celebrating the holiday through music, art and dance. And the trees...all of the beautiful, awe-inspiring Christmas trees....so many trees, so little time.
Of course there’s the Rockefeller Center tree which is a must, especially for first-timers. But, I also want to go on record to say that your next stop should be the must-see Christmas tree at Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s a twenty-foot spruce that adorns Gallery 305 in front of the famed Choir screen from the Cathedral of Valladolid (circa 1763). Twenty cherubs and sixty angels adorn its boughs, O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, you’ll be humming to yourself.
The tree in and of itself is a beauty, but what makes this all the more special is the Baroque Presepe (Crèche/Nativity) from Napoli. At the base of the tree is a scene that depicts life in 18th-century Napoli, including homes, animals, a fountain and gracefully adorned figures in silk, jewels, haloes...the works.
I erroneously used to think that the city of Napoli donated this to the Museum. It was only until I started gathering info for the blog that I discovered that Loretta Hines Howard, a Museum patron, had the idea of displaying her Nativity figures at the museum. She’d been collecting them since 1925 and in 1957 they made their first appearance at The Met. A few years later, in 1964, Loretta began to give her crèche collection to the Museum, making this an annual holiday tradition for many generations. I brought my Mom and Aunt here during our ‘girls gone wild Christmas weekend.’
I’ve included a few of my photos here, but I highly recommend you experience this first-hand, with sounds of seasonal music playing throughout the galleries it is truly magical. You have until January 6th to experience it.
And since we’re on the subject of Napoli & Christmas. Sharing here a short video I took while visiting Napoli’s famed ‘Christmas Alley’ or Via San Gregorio Armeno. Another one for the Christmas bucket list.
Merry Christmas, Buon Natale & Big Love, PatriciaG
For more information about The Met’s holiday displays click HERE
Do you have a favorite Christmas tradition? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below. And I’d be tickled pink if you shared this with friends & family.
Would also love it if you head on over to my Shop to check out my Prints & Photo Note Cards for sale. I’ve added some great things to the collection.
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