SOURCE: Glencairn Museum

Glencairn Museum

December 10, 2014 10:42 ET

Glencairn Museum Celebrates Christmas With World Nativities and Santa Claus Exhibitions

'Visitors Learn About Unique Nativities and Philadelphia's Own Kris Kringle'

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - Dec 10, 2014) -  Glencairn Museum invites the community to add more joy to the holiday season with two special Christmas exhibitions: World Nativities and A Century of Santa: Images of Santa Claus in the 1800s. The exhibitions run through Sunday, January 11.

The World Nativities exhibition presents 33 three-dimensional Nativity scenes collected from twenty-five countries. The exhibition reveals how artisans adapted the Nativity to represent their national, regional and local cultures -- often using local materials like clay, bark and coconuts.

A Century of Santa: Images of Santa Claus in the 1800s presents the early history of Santa Claus in America, using rare magazine illustrations, store advertising and children's storybooks from the collection of the National Christmas Center and Museum in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

A Century of Santa exhibition includes depictions of many of the traditional Christmas gift-givers that gave rise to who today is known and celebrated as Santa Claus.

"Santa's origins have a strong connection to Pennsylvania through German immigrants," says Glencairn Museum's curator Ed Gyllenhaal. "In fact, the 'Kris Kringle' tradition has its roots in Philadelphia." Other variations in the exhibition include the 'Christkindl' (the Christ Child) and the 'Belsnickel' -- who gave gifts to good children but used a switch on naughty children.

Before it became a museum, Glencairn was the home of Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn. In celebration of the season, Glencairn is featuring a special 'Christmas in the Castle' guided tour that reveals how the Pitcairn family celebrated Christmas. The displays include the family's original three-scene Nativity created by Bryn Athyn Studios in 1939. Visitors also explore renowned works of art from Pitcairn's original collection that illustrate the Nativity of Christ, dating from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

The exhibitions run from 12 to 4:30 p.m. daily. The museum is closed December 15-16 and 24-25.

Admission to the exhibitions is free, though donations are gratefully accepted. The guided tour is $10 adults, $8 seniors (65+) and students with ID, half-price for Basic museum members, and free for Gold museum members and children 3 and younger.

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