A Nativity from Naples

The tradition of the Presepio, which has been called "the translation of the Bible into Neapolitan dialect,” represents daily life in 18th-century Naples, a bustling port city. The figures and structures in this Presepio were collected over a period of more than thirty years by the late Elizabeth Anne Evans of Bucks County during her annual trips to Naples.

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The Symbolism of Sheep and Lambs at Glencairn

Perhaps the most frequently repeated motif in Glencairn is the grouping of ram, ewe, and lambs, symbolizing the importance of family. This issue of Glencairn Museum News explores the representation of sheep and lambs in the interior and exterior decoration of Glencairn.

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Assyrian Reliefs in Glencairn Museum:
Framing the Ancient Past

In this essay Eva Miller, PhD candidate at the University of Oxford, considers the five Assyrian reliefs in Glencairn’s Ancient Near East gallery. Collected by Raymond Pitcairn during the 1920s, these reliefs are “an exceptionally well-chosen group, representing diverse aspects of the religion, ideology, and artistry of the Assyrian Empire and typifying the development of the genre over time.” Miller examines the meaning of the images in these reliefs and how they have been received in both ancient and modern times. 

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Glencairn's Cloister

Number 8, 2016

Many first-time visitors to Glencairn Museum experience the building’s dramatic exterior before ever venturing inside. Glencairn’s grounds and gardens, together with those of Bryn Athyn Cathedral and Cairnwood Estate, are a favorite strolling destination for local residents. On Glencairn’s southwest corner, a graceful portico leads from the expansive lawn and carefully tended gardens to a magnificent cloister. This issue of Glencairn Museum News explores the cloister and the inspirations behind its design—including the capitals of the arcade with twelve species of birds, the twin-arched window providing a view toward the valley, and the special bench featuring a ram and ewe, carved from granite for Raymond and Mildred Pitcairn.

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Glencairn's Two-Foot Tall Medieval Hymnal

Number 7, 2016

Glencairn Museum’s large book of plainchant (75cm tall) was made in 16th-century Spain, most likely for the monastic Order of Calatrava. Like a modern hymnal, it contains the music needed for religious services, including 116 hymns as well as antiphons, responsories, and other music.

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An Interview with Jens Langlotz, Bryn Athyn's Master Stone Carver

Number 6, 2016

Recently Glencairn Museum News interviewed Jens Langlotz, Master Stone Carver at Bryn Athyn Cathedral, about the history of stone carving in Bryn Athyn and about ongoing preservation efforts at the Cathedral and Glencairn. Then we climbed the scaffold above the Cathedral’s south entry to watch Jens and his assistant, Grayson Zuber, in action as they replaced several badly worn limestone finials with exact copies.

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Medieval Sculptors at Glencairn Museum

Number 5, 2016

In this essay for Glencairn Museum News, Dr. Julia Perratore, Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, explores the world of the medieval sculptor, who mastered “a craft that was challenging and at times back-breaking, requiring flexibility and ingenuity.”

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“All that Glitters is Not Gold”: Glencairn’s Siren Cauldron Attachment

Number 3, 2016

In 1982, as Glencairn was in the process of being transformed from a family home into a museum, an unusual work of ancient art was discovered in one of the family bedrooms—being used as a doorstop! In this essay, David and Irene Romano discuss Glencairn’s Syro-Hittite siren cauldron attachment and compare it to other known examples from the ancient Greek and Near Eastern worlds.

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