Key visual of the exhibition Christmas & Cribs | © Swiss National Museum

Exhibition | 18.11.2022 - 08.01.2023

Christmas & Cribs

On Tuesday 20 December 2022, this exhibition will be closed to the public for a special event from 10:00 to at least 15:00.

Exhibition

This year, the traditional Christmas exhibition at the National Museum Zurich will be highlighting nativity scenes, created and assembled by female crafters. Nativity scene makers not only use a wide variety of materials such as wax, clay and wood, but also breathe life into their figures and landscapes with carefully draped fabric and lovingly detailed embellishments. Wood sculptors Camilla Braunger and Márcia Bieri have carved two unique pieces especially for the exhibition. The numerous figures are complemented by a display of historical advent calendars and a varied accompanying programme of events and activities for the whole family.

Guided tours

Key visual of the exhibition Christmas & Cribs

Christmas & Cribs

Guided tour for private groups through the exhibition "Christmas & Cribs".

Tour: 1 hour

Guided tours can be arranged outside opening hours: Mon between 9.30 am and 6 pm, Tue to Fri between 9.30 am and 7.45 pm. Sat and Sun between 10 am and 5 pm

Registration:  

 2 weeks in advance

Duration:

 

60 minutes; special packages can be offered on request

Group size:

 

max. 25 participants per tour

Languages:

 

English, German, Italian, French. Other offers upon request.

Cost:


 

 

CHF 180 for the guided tour + CHF 8 admission per person

Children up to 16 years free.

For groups of people with permit N, S, B, F (refugee) or F (foreigner), the guided tour and admission are free of charge.

Reservations desk

+41 44 218 66 00 reservationen@nationalmuseum.ch

Schools

Key visual of the exhibition Christmas & Cribs

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

© Alamy

Alexander Rechsteiner

24. December 2018

The story of a Christmas carol

Over 200 years ago, ‘Silent Night, Holy Night’ was performed for the first time. Thanks to its moving message and captivating melody, it is one of the world’s most popular Christmas carols.

Continue

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
All blog posts

Media

Nativity scenes crafted by women

National Museum Zurich | 18.11.2022 - 8.1.2023
published on 15.11.2022

Advent is a special time of year. This year, the exhibition of traditional nativity scenes at the National Museum Zurich will be focusing on cribs created by female crafters. The figures are complemented by a display of historical advent calendars and an extensive accompanying programme of events and activities.

This year, the traditional Christmas exhibition at the National Museum in Zurich will be showcasing manger scenes crafted by women. Women play an important role as designers, bringing their own special flavour to the diverse range of cribs. They use a wide variety of materials and techniques to breathe life into their figures and landscapes. Wood sculptors Camilla Braunger and Márcia Bieri, who have dedicated themselves to the traditional art of Brienz wood carving, have created two exhibits especially for the exhibition. Hanny Roduner’s charming fabric figures delight viewers with their lovingly crafted details. And the landscapes created by Lucette Pauchard-Remy feature a mix of Advent and folk customs. A porcelain artist from Bulle, Lucette Pauchard-Remy, skilfully blends elements of traditional Gruyère painting (Sennentumsmalerei) with the story of Jesus’ birth, creating a very distinctive world in her enchanting works.

To go with the exhibition of approximately 20 cribs, a large collection of historical advent calendars is also on display. For more than 100 years, various forms of calendars have made the long countdown to Christmas more bearable. A special focus is on calendars with St Nicholas subjects. The exhibition is accompanied by a diverse supporting program and offers entertainment for the whole family.

Images

Nativity scene with santons de Provence

Lise Berger, Roquevaire (FR), 1990-2021, painted clay, various fabrics, KrippenWelt, Stein am Rhein

Swiss National Museum

Nativity scene with santons de Provence

Lise Berger, Roquevaire (FR), 1990-2021, painted clay, various fabrics, KrippenWelt, Stein am Rhein

Swiss National Museum

Nativity scene with santons de Provence

Lise Berger, Roquevaire (FR), 1990-2021, painted clay, various fabrics, KrippenWelt, Stein am Rhein

Swiss National Museum

The scribes of Herod – the angel appears – the birth of Jesus

Hanny Roduner, Zurich ZH, around 1999, wire, polystyrene, fabrics (selection from the life’s work of H.R.), private collection

Swiss National Museum

The scribes of Herod – the angel appears – the birth of Jesus

Hanny Roduner, Zurich ZH, around 1999, wire, polystyrene, fabrics (selection from the life’s work of H.R.), private collection

Swiss National Museum

The scribes of Herod – the angel appears – the birth of Jesus

Hanny Roduner, Zurich ZH, around 1999, wire, polystyrene, fabrics (selection from the life’s work of H.R.), private collection

Swiss National Museum

Gifts of the Magi

Sculptural group, Mercy, Márcia Bieri, Landquart GR, 2022, Carved walnut, private collection

Swiss National Museum

Church figures with precious garments

From the monastery of St. Anna LU, late 17th–19th c., various materials

Swiss National Museum

Woodland Christmas, 1936

Marianne Schneegans, Rudolf Schneider Verlag, Reichenau

Evelyne Gasser, Lenzburg

A view of the exhibition.

© Swiss National Museum

A view of the exhibition.

© Swiss National Museum

View into the Advent studio.

© Swiss National Museum

Christmas & Cribs

Key visual 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 direction Andrea Franzen
  • Scenography Martina Nievergelt, Zürich
  • Advisory committee Heidi Amrein, Beat Högger, Markus Leuthard, Sabrina Médioni, Denise Tonella
  • Cultural services and Museum Education Gerda Bissig, Lisa Engi, Vera Humbel
  • Lighting Atelier Derrer, Embrach
  • Graphics CinCin Konzept und Gestaltung GmbH, Zürich
  • Technical management Henrike Binder
  • Exhibition construction Bachir Ezzerari, Ladina Fait, Marc Hägeli, Philippe Leuthardt, Sophie Lühr, David Schwitter
  • Conservation management Peter Wyer
  • Conservation and montage of objects Charlotte Maier, Ulrike Rothenhäusler
  • Lending and logistics of objects Christian Affentranger, David Blazquez, Simon D’Hollosy, Reto Hegetschweiler, Markus Scherer, Samira Tanner, Angela Zeier
  • Photography Jörg Brandt
  • Photo library Andrea Kunz, Fabian Müller
  • IT / Web Thomas Bucher, Ulrich Heiniger, Pasquale Pollastro, Danilo Rüttimann, René Vogel
  • Marketing and communication Andrej Abplanalp, Anna-Britta Maag, Sebastiano Mereu, Carole Neuenschwander Alexander Rechsteiner
  • Translations Marie-Claude Buch-Chalayer, Bill Gilonis, Marco Marcacci

Items generously loaned by

  • Camilla Braunger, Basel
  • Márcia Bieri, Landquart
  • Evelyne Gasser, Lenzburg
  • Historisches Museum Thurgau
  • Huggler Holzbildhauerei AG, Brienz
  • Agnes Hodel, Niederlenz
  • KrippenWelt, Stein am Rhein
  • Lucette Pauchard-Remy, Bulle
  • Hanny Roduner, Zürich