World Nativities


The Jimenez family of Masaya, Nicaragua, carves Nativity figures from cedar wood, which are then brightly painted by local artists. The father, mother and children are all involved in the process. In addition to the Holy Family, this Nativity includes the wise men and a heavenly host of twenty angels.

Daily 12:00 - 4:30 PM
Closed December 12-13, 24-25

Suggested donation $5 per person (includes both exhibitions).

Glencairn Museum’s World Nativities exhibition presents dozens of three-dimensional Nativity scenes collected from around the world. For many Christians the Nativity scene is a meaningful expression of religious faith, providing a compelling visual focus during the Christmas season. World Nativities shows how artisans adapt the Nativity scene to represent their own spiritual, intellectual, cultural and regional environments. Each year the exhibition features Nativities borrowed from other museums and from Glencairn’s growing collection.

Glencairn’s own Nativity tradition dates to the 1920s, when Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn commissioned a three-part Nativity for their home made by craftsmen from the Bryn Athyn Studios. These scenes have been displayed in Glencairn’s Upper Hall every Christmas since 1939. The Pitcairns also commissioned a large-scale oil painting of the Nativity to hang above the Upper Hall fireplace, adapted from The Christ Child, a children’s book by Maud and Miska Petersham.