Opening times

Museum, boutique and bistro

Tu – We 10:00 – 17:00

Th 10:00 – 19:00

Fr – Su 10:00 – 17:00

Mo closed

Library

Tu – Fr 10:00 – 17:00

Th 10:00 – 19:00

Sa – Mo closed

Special opening times

Sa 12/21/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Su 12/22/2019 10:00 – 17:00 Fourth Advent

Mo 12/23/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Tu 12/24/2019 10:00 – 14:00 Christmas Eve

We 12/25/2019 10:00 – 17:00 Christmas

Th 12/26/2019 10:00 – 17:00 St. Stephen´s Day

Fr 12/27/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Sa 12/28/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Su 12/29/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Mo 12/30/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Tu 12/31/2019 10:00 – 17:00 New Year´s Eve

We 1/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 New Year´s Day

Th 1/2/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Saint Berchtold

Fr 4/10/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Good Friday

Su 4/12/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Easter

Mo 4/13/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Easter Monday

Mo 4/20/2020 closed Sechseläuten

Fr 5/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Labour Day

Th 5/21/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Ascension Day

Su 5/31/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Whitsun

Mo 6/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Whit Monday

Sa 8/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Swiss National Holiday

Sa 9/5/2020 18:00 – 23:59 Zurich's long night of museums

Su 9/6/2020 0:00 – 2:00 Zurich's long night of museums

Mo 9/14/2020 closed Knabenschiessen

Show all

Opening times

Museum, boutique and bistro

Tu – We 10:00 – 17:00

Th 10:00 – 19:00

Fr – Su 10:00 – 17:00

Mo closed

Library

Tu – Fr 10:00 – 17:00

Th 10:00 – 19:00

Sa – Mo closed

Special opening times

Sa 12/21/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Su 12/22/2019 10:00 – 17:00 Fourth Advent

Mo 12/23/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Tu 12/24/2019 10:00 – 14:00 Christmas Eve

We 12/25/2019 10:00 – 17:00 Christmas

Th 12/26/2019 10:00 – 17:00 St. Stephen´s Day

Fr 12/27/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Sa 12/28/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Su 12/29/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Mo 12/30/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Tu 12/31/2019 10:00 – 17:00 New Year´s Eve

We 1/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 New Year´s Day

Th 1/2/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Saint Berchtold

Fr 4/10/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Good Friday

Su 4/12/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Easter

Mo 4/13/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Easter Monday

Mo 4/20/2020 closed Sechseläuten

Fr 5/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Labour Day

Th 5/21/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Ascension Day

Su 5/31/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Whitsun

Mo 6/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Whit Monday

Sa 8/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Swiss National Holiday

Sa 9/5/2020 18:00 – 23:59 Zurich's long night of museums

Su 9/6/2020 0:00 – 2:00 Zurich's long night of museums

Mo 9/14/2020 closed Knabenschiessen

Show all

Christmas & Cribs

National Museum Zurich | 21.11.2019 - 5.1.2020
published on 20.11.2019

The exhibition of nativity scenes has been part of the National Museum’s regular programme for many years now. For this winter, the exhibition has been completely redesigned.

The first nativity scenes were set up in churches; the earliest one has stood in the Sistine Chapel in Rome since 1291. It’s only since the 19th century that Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus figures have increasingly been put on display in people’s homes as well. But this new custom isn’t a European phenomenon – it’s a global one. The nativity scenes in this year’s exhibition therefore come not just from Switzerland, but from all over the world – from as far afield as Haiti and Taiwan, for example. This year, there is a focus on the materials used. In addition to clay, paper and wood, there are also exhibits made from plant fibres and sheet metal. Historical Christmas photographs complement the display of original nativity scenes.

The National Museum Zurich has displayed nativity scenes during the Christmas season since 2012. This year the exhibition has been completely redesigned, with the precious exhibits now displayed in a fairy-tale forest setting. The extensive accompanying programme for families remains unchanged. At the Museum children can read books, listen to the Christmas story, make their own gifts, or wander through the exhibition spaces with a lantern.

Images

Portable nativity set from Krakow, 1950-2000, tinfoil, on loan from Doris Bühlmann

The Polish szopka is carried to the church in a solemn procession at Christmas. It is modelled on St Mary’s Basilica on Krakow’s old town square.

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

Fold-up nativity scene from Constance, circa 1910, cardboard, sheet metal, gelatine foil, loan from Alfred Dünnenberger

With the development of graphic printing in the 19th century, nativity scenes printed on card began to appear in private households. Because they were easy to assemble and disassemble, they were also known as ‘Faulenzer-Krippen’ (lazy man’s nativity sets).

Copyright: Alfred Dünnenberger

Retablo from Ayacucho, circa 1950, wood, paste, starch flour, gypsum, painted, loan from Paul Laternser

Peruvian nativity scenes in a wooden box are called ‘retablo’. They date back to Spanish missionary activity in Latin America in the 16th century.

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

Sheet metal nativity scene from Haiti, 2015, oil drum metal sheet, painted, loan from Brigitta Burkhard

In this Haitian nativity scene, the Adoration of the Christ Child in the stable is taking place at the water’s edge. The Christ Child is lying in a hammock and the figures are wearing Caribbean clothing and headwear.

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

Christmas photograph from France

Christmas tree on the beach at Cannes, 1976.

Copyright: Collection Roger-Viollet / Roger-Viollet

Christmas photograph from Switzerland

Craft circle, circa. 1939.

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

Christmas photograph from Switzerland

Father Christmas feeding birds beside a park pond, 1958.

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

Description

A view of the exhibition.

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

Description

A view of the exhibition.

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

Description

A view of the exhibition.

Copyright: Swiss National Museum

What are you looking for?