This exhibition examines the global and cultural history of a time-honored tradition: the display of the Christmas crèche. It presents a variety of Nativity sets from across the globe, reflecting the influence of Christian missionary work and ranging from the traditional to the contemporary.
Nearly 100 crèches of varying sizes—some as small as one inch—are on display. The Nativity sets from local collectors, whose personal stories provide insight into this ongoing tradition, are an immensely popular facet of the show. Additionally, Madonna and Child artwork from the School Sisters of St. Francis’ vast collection presents varied artistic views of the Holy Family within the Christmas narrative.
“I’ve brought together a variety of Nativity scenes that reflect our global outreach and diversity,” says Valerie J. Christell, Alfons Gallery’s director and curator. “This holiday story, known by people of all faiths, has come to connect people throughout our world.”
The show is presented in cooperation with The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton (Ohio), which houses the largest international crèche collection. The library is providing large-scale printed images of unique crèches from countries served by the School Sisters of St. Francis, along with documentation for the sets.
Crèches from around the world also are available for sale in the Alfons Gallery’s Cultural Gift Shop. The Cultural Gift Shop supports the work of the School Sisters of St. Francis’ global missions by selling works by their countries’ artisans as well as local artists.
The exhibit continues through January 27, 2013.
Alfons Gallery is located at St. Joseph Center, 1501 S. Layton Blvd. (27th Street and Greenfield Avenue) in Milwaukee. Free parking is available in the lot that is accessible on 29th and Orchard (Alexia Circle entrance). For more information on Alfons Gallery, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 414-385-5273, or visit the gallery’s website at www.sssf.org/
About Alfons Gallery
Alfons Gallery’s mission reflects the local and global work of the School Sisters of St. Francis. Exhibitions celebrate cultural diversity and advocate for justice and peace through the artistic vision. Multidisciplinary events aim to both educate and inspire viewers about our world and the impact every individual makes in it.
Our Cultural Gift Shop’s mission is to expand cultural awareness and support artisans working in our global missions as well as fine craft artists working locally.
About The Marian Library, Dayton, Ohio
Recognized as the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of printed materials on the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Marian Library at the University of Dayton aims to further study and research and to promote well-founded devotion to Mary. It is home to an art gallery devoted to contemporary religious art, especially Marian art, and to a museum focused on the display of more than 900 Nativity scenes from the library’s Crèches Collection.
About The School Sisters of St. Francis
The School Sisters of St. Francis are an international community of Catholic sisters who unite with others to build a just and peaceful world. Founded in 1874, they now have sisters, associates, staff, donors and volunteers actively working to address the needs of those who are poor and marginalized by society. Their mission is thriving throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and India. For more information about the School Sisters of St. Francis, please visit www.sssf.org.