The Met Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan’s Upper East Side is a New York City holiday tradition.
A Crèche is a nativity scene. Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of Italy, created the first nativity scene in 1223.
It’s notable that the nativity is very important in Latin traditions, but is rarely seen in New York City. The Christmas tree is a northern European tradition.
The Met Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Créche are a Spectacular sight
Most of the decorations in the Met Christmas tree exhibit come from a collection of 18th-century Neapolitan figures that Loretta Hines Howard started in the 1920s when she was just a girl.
Ms. Howard began donating the figures to the Met in 1964. For over 30 years she worked with artist Enrique Espinoza to adorn the tree and create the nativity scene around its base. We don’t know for sure, but Mr. Espinoza was probably Mexican-American. The two also created Christmas trees for the White House.
Met Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche Dates
The Met Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche are in the Medieval Sculpture Hall (gallery 305) from Tuesday, November 21, 2017 – Sunday, January 7, 2018.
In 2017 there were tree-lighting ceremonies daily at 4:30 pm with extra ceremonies on Fridays and Saturdays at 5:30 & 6:30 pm.
For more information visit www.MetMuseum.org