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Throwback Thursday: Christmas Tree Lighting and Concert

December 7, 2017

Christmas Concert, December 12, 1976. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

In 1972, Mrs. Howell H. Howard gave the museum a rare eighteenth-century Neapolitan crèche in memory of Helen Northrup Knox. Since then, the crèche and its accompanying Christmas Tree have been displayed every December in various locations around Buffalo, and the Christmas Tree Lighting and Concert has become a cherished annual tradition.

This year, join us on Sunday, December 10 for the official lighting of the Albright-Knox’s traditional Christmas Tree and a concert of holiday favorites performed by members of the St. Paul's Cathedral Choir. Learn More

1976 installation of the museum’s eighteenth-century Neapolitan crèche. Mixed media, dimensions variable. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Mrs. Howell H. Howard in memory of Helen Northrup Knox, 1972 (1972:12.1-33).

2007 Christmas Tree Lighting and Concert at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Photograph by Tom Loonan. 

The museum’s set of crèche figurines is one of only three in the United States, with the other two in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the White House. The museum’s crèche figures, each a work of art, range from six to twenty inches in height. They have finely crafted bodies of fiber and wire, and their heads and shoulders were modeled out of terracotta. Many of the luxurious and colorful costumes are original, and a few have been carefully restored over the years.