08 January 2013

The Met at the Holidays

I know it's the new year but I have one final Christmas story to share with you. 

One cold Saturday over the holiday break I decided to go to the Met. I normally don't go so late in the day but I thought it wouldn't be too bad. Apparently, everyone else had the same idea (see above). 

And even though it was crazy crowded—I don't remember the last time I was there when it was so packed—it was a perfect place to be when outside snow was falling everywhere.

There were multiple special exhibits at the museum to see but those could wait for another time. Even though Christmas had already passed I wanted to see the annual tree and crèche. 

In 1957 the Met began a holiday tradition of displaying a Christmas tree and Baroque Neapolitan crèche comprised of more than 200 18th-century crèche figures donated by Loretta Hines Howard. Decades later, the tradition is still going strong. With the Medieval Sculpture Hall as its backdrop, the tree and crèche are an absolutely gorgeous sight. Unfortunately the day of my visit I missed the lighting of the tree. Nonetheless, with roughly 50 angels and a golden star on top, it might just be my favourite Christmas tree in the city.

Not to be outshone by the angels above, around the base of the tree is a lovely nativity. The figurines with all of their fine details and colourful outfits ('m partial to the three wise men) vary a bit from year to year as does the setting, which is designed by Howard's daughter and granddaughter. You can spend quite some time taking it all in, which is exactly what I did. 

iPhone photos by Michele.

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