International Nativities Exhibition

Nov 16, 2013

Owl Nativity by Ulla Anobile

St. Francis of Assisi is accredited with creating the first nativity scene in 1223, albeit a “live” one using humans and animals. His intention: to cultivate the worship of Christ, or the Babe of Bethlehem, as St. Francis called him in his tribute, according to St. Bonaventure. (CERC)

For 27 years, The Folk Tree has invited artists from all over the world to exhibit works—their creative interpretations of the nativity scene. Besides these varying crèche, there will be ornaments, seasonal decor, and accessories for purchase—all the decorations you need for a uniquely artistic holiday.

The Spaniards transported the custom of focusing on nativity scenes to the Americas in the sixteenth century. Today, the annual unpacking and arranging of often large and elaborate nativities is an important Christmas event for many Latin American families.

Examples from Mexico include carved and painted wood and black and brown ware clay miniatures no larger than one’s thumb. On an even smaller scale, some nativities are created inside painted walnut shells. Self-contained collapsible tin nativity sets, small scenes placed in decoratively painted boxes and others made from straw and colorful ceramics are also on view from Mexico.

Other countries are represented by nativities created in textiles, candy wrappers (Poland), recycled oil drums (Haiti), match boxes (Peru), painted wood (India), and carved wood (Africa).


27th Annual International Nativities Exhibition
Opening reception, Sat. Nov. 16th, 2-6 p.m.
Exhibit runs through Tuesday, Dec. 31st
The Folk Tree, 217 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena 91105
For more info, visit or call 626.795.8733

Lead photo, top right: Owl Nativity with Wise Men by Ulla Anobile. Owls are 5″ tall; hand stitched felt, embroidery floss, polyfill, beads, and sequins.

By Agustin Tinoco, wood, Mexico

By Agustin Tinoco, wood, Mexico

Clay nativity from Guatemala

Clay nativity from Guatemala


Spool angels by Donna Musser, USA

Spool angels by Donna Musser, USA








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Homage Pasadena