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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

#CulturedPeachy The Met Celebrates the Holiday Season with Performances, Events, and Special Displays Our Coverage Sponsored by Cosmopolitan Dental, Official Dentist of Whom You Know @GaroNazarianDDS #cosmopolitandental #loveyoursmile

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The Met will continue a beloved holiday tradition this winter with the presentation of its Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche, which will be on view through January 7, 2020. Magnificently set in front of the 18th-century Spanish choir screen from the Cathedral of Valladolid in the Museum's Medieval Sculpture Hall (gallery 305), the tree has become a must-see holiday favorite of both New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. Recorded Christmas music in the gallery adds to the enjoyment of the holiday display.

The towering 20-foot blue spruce is gracefully lit and adorned with 19 cherubs and 59 angels, while at the base 71 additional figures represent the three elements of Nativity scenes that were traditional to 18th-century Naples: adoring shepherds and their flocks, the procession of the three Magi, and spirited peasants and townspeople. Enhancing the display are nearly 50 delightful animals and background pieces that create a dramatic setting for the Nativity; these include the ruins of a Roman temple, several quaint houses, and a typical Italian fountain.

The exhibit of the crèche is made possible by gifts to The Christmas Tree Fund and the 
Loretta Hines Howard Fund.

History of the Tree Display

The annual Christmas display has evolved through the generosity, enthusiasm, and dedication of the late Loretta Hines Howard, who began collecting crèche figures in 1925. Mrs. Howard conceived the idea of presenting the elaborate Neapolitan Nativity scene under a Christmas tree—a tradition rooted in Northern Europe—with angels swirling upward to the crowning star, and was later ably assisted by her daughter Linn Howard. Over many decades, Linn Howard contributed to the tree's great beauty by adding and improving details that are fundamentally reflected in the current display.

This unusual combination was first presented to the public in 1957, with The Met's exhibition of Mrs. Howard's collection. Since 1964, more than 200 Neapolitan crèche figures from the 18th century have been given to the Museum by Loretta Hines Howard and displayed in the galleries each holiday season.

Eastern European Silver Menorah

In conjunction with the celebration of Hanukkah, a magnificent 19th-century silver menorah made in Lviv, Ukraine, will be on display in The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Galleries (Floor 1, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Gallery 556). Made in 1866–72 for the Great Synagogue in Lviv, the ceremonial lamp, which is cast, chased, and engraved with elaborate motifs, is one of the largest silver Hanukkah lamps known. The menorah is on loan from The Moldovan Family Collection. 

The eight-branched Hanukkah menorah commemorates an important moment in Jewish history: the triumphant Maccabean revolt against the oppressing Seleucid Empire and the re-consecration of the Jewish Holy Temple in 165 B.C. The lamp's eight branches reference the miracle in which the last jug of pure olive oil, which should have lasted only one day, kept the Temple menorah lit for eight days.


Exhibitions on view at The Met Fifth Avenue throughout the holiday season include: The Facade Commission: Wangechi Mutu, The NewOnes, will free Us (through June 8, 2020), The Last Knight: The Art, Armor, and Ambition of Maximilian I (through January 5, 2020), The Renaissance of Etching (through January 19, 2020), Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet (through January 26, 2020), Making Marvels: Science and Splendor at the Courts of Europe (through March 1, 2020), In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection (November 27, 2019–May 17, 2020), and The Great Hall Commission: Kent Monkman, mistikôsiwak (Wooden Boat People) (opening December 19, 2019). For the complete list of exhibitions, please refer to The Met's website

Performances, Programs, and Events
The Met Fifth Avenue celebrates the holiday season with a variety of concerts and performances, including:

Friday, December 13, 7 p.m., The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

The "first lady of Celtic music," Moya Brennan is joined by Dublin-based Irish harp virtuoso Cormac De Barra, two-time All-Ireland fiddle champion Patrick Mangan, and other special guests for a thrilling and moving holiday program created especially for The Met.

Ticket start at $75.

Saturday, December 14, 7 p.m., The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

When Ute Lemper takes the stage, audiences are instantly transported to that fleeting moment of wild experimentation that was born of the short-lived progressive culture that bloomed in pre-war Germany. Songs by Weill, Brecht, Hollander, Spoliansky, and others receive the sexy and acerbic interpretation that is Ms. Lemper's signature style. 

Tickets start at $75.

Friday, December 20, 7 p.m., The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

The Handel + Haydn Society returns to The Met for a special holiday concert featuring festive music by Vivaldi, Charpentier, Biber, Telemann, and others. For this very special occasion, The Met will bring out its famous Stradivarius, "The Gould" Violin, to let it sing once again in the hands of the virtuoso Baroque violinist Aisslinn Nosky of The Handel+Haydn Society.

Tickets start at $75. 

School Break Programs 
For Families with Children Ages 3–11
Day off from school? Drop in and create works of art at The Met.
December 26–27, 1–4 p.m.

Dining and Shopping
A variety of dining options, from fine food in The Dining Room overlooking Central Park to casual fare at The American Wing Café, are offered at The Met Fifth Avenue. Cocktails, appetizers, and live music—including performances by Ethel and Friends in December—are available every Friday and Saturday evening at the Great Hall Balcony Bar.

The Met Store—located within the Museum's three locations and online—offers a wide selection of holiday gifts inspired by The Met collection, including holiday cards, Christmas ornaments, and Advent calendars, as well as an array of art-inspired gifts from jewelry and watches to richly patterned scarves and tops. All purchases support the Museum's collection of 5,000 years of art and its study, conservation, and presentation.

Holiday Party for Members and Patrons
Join us on Tuesday, December 10, 6:30–9 p.m., for the Holiday Party for Members and Patrons. Enjoy the enchanting Great Hall after hours, when there will be live music and the chance to mingle with fellow Members over holiday cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and desserts. Children and adults are invited to indulge their creative side with seasonal art-making activities, cookie decorating, and more throughout the Museum.

Single adult tickets are $150, two adult tickets are $290, and tickets for children between the ages of 3 and 13 are $85. You must be a Member or Patron to attend. Visit to purchase tickets.

At The Met Cloisters—the branch of the Museum in northern Manhattan dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe—decorations with a medieval theme and concerts of early music will ring in the season.

Medieval 'Christmastide' Decorations

From December 13, 2019, through January 6, 2020, visitors to The Met Cloisters will experience a unique Museum tradition that pays tribute to festive, medieval culture. Arriving guests will first pass under a great arch of holly boughs bright with red fruits, which symbolize light, warmth, and welcome. Holly is the plant that is most associated with the medieval feast. 

Once inside the Main Hall, visitors will be greeted by grand arches bedecked with fresh ivy locally sourced in Fort Tryon Park. The gardeners dress each of the ivy arches with hand-polished, New York lady apples, hazelnuts, rosehips, and pinecones.

Elsewhere, throughout the halls, cloisters, galleries, and arcades, visitors will be treated to verdant displays of topiaries, garlands, and wreaths. Candelabras will be swaddled with ivy and adorned with roses. Windows will be filled with potted fragrant and flowering plants such as citrus, rosemary, and cyclamen. Each plant is a symbol and celebration of the season.

Exhibitions on view at The Met Cloisters throughout the holiday season include The Colmar Treasure: A Medieval Jewish Legacy (through January 12, 2020).

Programming at The Met Cloisters

Holiday-themed concerts by renowned performers, special gallery talks, and programs for the whole family are among the holiday offerings at The Met Cloisters. Programming includes:

Saturday, December 21, 12:30 and 3:30 p.m., The Fuentidueña Chapel at The Met Cloisters

The multi-Grammy-winning ensemble The Crossing returns to The Met for a presentation of David Lang's haunting seasonal favorite, The Little Match Girl Passion, paired this year with a new work by composer Edie Hill, whose most recent composition for choir was called a "masterpiece" by the Chicago Tribune.

Tickets start at $65.

Family Programs
(Free with Museum admission)

Family Afternoons at The Met Cloisters: Medieval Music
Sunday, December 29, 1–4 p.m.
3–11 years

Gallery Talks

Saturday, December 14, 12 and 2 p.m.

Saturday, December 28, 12 and 2 p.m.

Saturday, January 4, 12 and 2 p.m.

Exhibitions on view at The Met Breuer throughout the holiday season include Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory (through January 12, 2020). 

Image credits:
Annual Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche display. 20 ft. blue spruce with a collection of 18th-century Neapolitan angels and cherubs among its boughs and groups of realistic crèche figures flanking the Nativity scene at its base, displayed in the Museum's Medieval Sculpture Hall. Gift of Loretta Hines Howard, 1964. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Behind the tree: Reja from the Cathedral of Valladolid, Spanish, 1763. Wrought iron, partially gilt, and limestone. Gift of The William Randolph Hearst Foundation, 1956

Hanukkah Lamp, 1866–72. Polish, Lviv (also called Lvov or Lemberg). Silver: cast, chased, and engraved. On loan from The Moldovan Family Collection. Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

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