Exhibition | 19.11.2021 - 09.01.2022

Christmas & Cribs

Exhibition

In its traditional exhibition of nativity scenes, the National Museum Zurich will be displaying magnificent objects from all over Switzerland. Whether made of wood, wax, paper or clay, the nativity scenes bring a touch of Christmas magic to the Museum. An outstanding gem of this year’s exhibition is a model constructed by Ticino nativity scene creators Flavio and Lucio Negri, which they have made specially for the exhibition in Zurich. The nativity scenes are complemented by a display of historical advent calendars and a varied accompanying programme of events and activities for families.

Guided tours

Christmas & Cribs

Guided tour of the exhibition "Christmas & Cribs".

Tour: 1 hour

Führungen für private Gruppen sind auch ausserhalb der Öffnungszeiten möglich:
Mo zwischen 9.30 und 18 Uhr, Di bis Fr zwischen 9.30 und 19.45 Uhr, Sa und So zwischen 10 und 17 Uhr.

Anmeldung:  

2 Wochen im Voraus

Dauer:

 

60 Minuten, spezielle Angebote auf Anfrage möglich

Gruppengrösse:

 

max. 25 Personen pro Führung.

Sprachen:

 

Deutsch, Französisch, Italienisch und Englisch. Weitere Angebote nach Absprache.

Kosten:


 

 

180 CHF für die Führung, zuzüglich reduzierter Eintritt von 8 CHF pro Person.

Kinder und Jugendliche bis 16 Jahre Eintritt frei.

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

Schools

Christmas & Cribs – Introductory tour

Kindergarten | Elementary school | Intermediate level | secondary levels I and II

Guided tour of the exhibition «Christmas & Cribs».

1 hour
Guided tours are free of charge for school classes from Switzerland.

Guided tours in English can be arranged, even outside opening hours. Guided tours are free of charge for school classes from Switzerland.

Booking:  

at least 2 weeks in advance

Duration:

 

1 hour guided tours, other services by prior arrangement

Group size:

 

max. 25 people

Cost:
 

 

Guided tours for school classes from Switzerland are free of charge.

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

Blog articles

Kurt Messmer

4. December 2020

George, Martin, Nicholas – timeless humanity

The legends of the saints are written without footnotes. They can’t be checked and verified. The significance of these legends lies in the moral ideal that lives on in elaborate portrayals as a gentle entreaty to follow their saintly example.

Continue

Alexander Rechsteiner

25. December 2019

Christkind, or Samichlaus?

On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the gifts are handed out! But has it always been that way? 150 years ago, 6 December was always the big day for children.

Continue

Andrej Abplanalp

28. November 2019

Festival of symbols and customs

At Christmas, it has become the norm for diverse symbols and traditions to be intermingled. But that hasn’t always been the case. A look back.

Continue
All blog posts

Media

Christmas & Cribs

National Museum Zurich | 19.11.2021 - 9.1.2022
published on 19.11.2021

In this year’s exhibition of nativity scenes, the National Museum Zurich will be showing how Ticino prepares for Christmas. There are also beautiful objects from all over Switzerland and historic Advent calendars to admire.

Not only is Ticino the sunniest place in Switzerland, but it’s also the country’s nativity scene capital. North of the Gotthard, nativity figures can usually be found in the living room, but in the south people do things on a grander scale. A touch of this southern magic is blowing through the National Museum Zurich this year.

Renowned Ticino nativity scene creators Flavio and Lucio Negri have made a nativity scene model specially for the exhibition in Zurich. With loving attention to every detail, father and son use materials such as polystyrene and plaster to create Christmas worlds large and small that delight audiences in Switzerland and beyond. In addition to this Ticino highlight, this year’s exhibition features nativity scenes from all over Switzerland, produced using a wide range of materials: from wood and wax to clay and paper.

Speaking of paper: the nativity scenes are complemented by a display of historical Advent calendars and an extensive and varied accompanying programme of events and activities for families.

Images

Nativity scene in case with wax figures, Hermetschwil Convent (Lucerne), 18th century, wax, silk, wood Loan from the Chorherrenstift St. Michael Beromünster

Nativity scenes made by nuns are often set out in glass cases, with beautifully detailed wax figures depicting the Christmas story or the Infant Jesus.

Swiss National Museum

Mary with the Infant Jesus, Ildefons Curiger (1782-1841), ca. 1810/20, Einsiedeln (Canton of Schwyz), fired clay, original setting, painted bell jar Loan from Einsiedeln Abbey, art collection

The nativity scenes created by the Einsiedeln miniature sculptors are some of the most exquisite in Switzerland. Ildefons Curiger is a major representative of this form.

Swiss National Museum

Mary with the Infant Jesus and shepherd, Ildefons Curiger (1782-1841), ca. 1820, Einsiedeln (Canton of Schwyz), fired clay, painted in monochrome Loan from Einsiedeln Abbey, art collection

At the beginning of the 19th century, fired clay groups were created in the workshops of the Einsiedeln miniature sculptors.

Swiss National Museum

Folding nativity scene in a winter setting, ca. 1920, Switzerland or Germany, cardboard, paper, printed, embossed, die-cut, gelatin paper Loan from the Spielzeug Welten Museum (Toy Worlds Museum) Basel

From the late 19th century onwards, nativity scenes printed on card began to appear in private households in Switzerland. They are less expensive than sets made from clay or porcelain, making them an affordable alternative.

Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

Advent calendar, In the Land of the Christ Child, ca. 1910, Ernst Kepler, Verlag Reichhold & Lang publishing house, Munich Loan from Evelyne Gasser, Lenzburg

Gerhard Lang is considered to be the ‘inventor’ of the now ubiquitous Advent calendar. At the beginning of the 20th century, working with illustrator Ernst Kepler, he created this Advent calendar with verses and little pictures to stick on.

Swiss National Museum

Advent calendar, Advent flowering tree, ca. 1936, Sulamith Wülfing, Sulamith Wülfing-Verlag publishing house, Wuppertal-Elberfeld Loan from Evelyne Gasser, Lenzburg

After 1930, religious motifs for teaching children were increasingly replaced by secular subjects, fairy tale characters, or romantic landscapes.

Swiss National Museum

Ticino Crib by Lucio Negri

Lucio Negri’s oriental nativity scene is rendered in a naturalistic style that is typical in his panoramas.

Swiss National Museum

Oriental nativity scene

Nativity scene by the Ticino artist Lucio Negri.Nativity scene by the Ticino artist Lucio Negri.

Swiss National Museum

Oriental nativity scene

Nativity scene by the Ticino artist Lucio Negri.Nativity scene by the Ticino artist Lucio Negri.

Swiss National Museum

Oriental nativity scene

Nativity scene by the Ticino artist Lucio Negri.Nativity scene by the Ticino artist Lucio Negri.

Swiss National Museum

View into the Advent studio.

Swiss National Museum

A view of the exhibition.

Swiss National Museum

Swiss National Museum press contact

+41 44 218 66 63 medien@nationalmuseum.ch

Exhibition imprint

  • Overall management Denise Tonella
  • Project management Marina Amstad, Andrea Franzen
  • Scenography Martina Nievergelt, Zürich
  • Lighting Atelier Derrer, Embrach
  • Graphic and key visual CinCin Konzept und Gestaltung GmbH, Zürich
  • Cultural services and museum education Stefanie Bittmann, Lisa Engi
  • Marketing and communication Andrej Abplanalp, Alexander Rechsteiner, Carole Neuenschwander, Sebastiano Mereu, Anna-Britta Maag
  • Technical management Henrike Binder
  • Exhibition construction Janine auf der Maur, David Schwitter, Bachir Ezzerari, Ladina Fait, Marc Hägeli, Mike Roder
  • Conservation and montage of objects Peter Wyer
  • Logistics of objects and montage of objects Christian Affentranger, David Blazquez, Simon D’Hollosy, Reto Hegetschweiler, Markus Scherer
  • Loans Maya Jucker, Angela Zeier
  • Advisory committee Heidi Amrein, Beat Högger, Markus Leuthard, Sabrina Médioni, Denise Tonella, Luca Tori
  • Controlling of project Sabrina Médioni
  • Head of legal affairs and contracts Beatrice Käser, Jana Pfyl
  • Photography Jörg Brandt, Zvonimir Pisonic
  • Photo library Andrea Kunz, Fabian Müller
  • IT / Web Thomas Bucher, Ulrich Heiniger, Pasquale Pollastro, Danilo Rüttimann, René Vogel
  • Translations and final editing Marie-Claude Buch-Chalayer, Bill Gilonis, Marco Marcacci, Laurence Neuffer

Items generously loaned by

  • Chorherrenstift St. Michael, Beromünster
  • Kloster Einsiedeln, Kunstsammlung
  • Evelyne Gasser
  • Walter Gianotti
  • Huggler Holzbildhauerei AG
  • Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel
  • Lucio Negri