Thursday, December 3, 2009–Sunday, February 28, 2010
10:00 AM–05:00 PM on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Christmas, one of the most joyful seasons for Christian communities worldwide, celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and the dramatic events that took place during his infancy,— from his nativity in a lowly stable, to the angel’s announcement of this news to local shepherds, to Herod’s murder of all the babies in Bethlehem, and his narrow escape from that slaughter.
As it is recounted in the Christian New Testament, the Christmas story is remarkably short on specifics. In rendering the story into pictures, it fell to medieval illuminators to supply the details. Even today, popular representations of these events are based on images devised during the Middle Ages.
In the early 16th century, Cardinal Patriarch Marco Cornaro commissioned one such illuminated manuscript, the famous Cornaro Missal. A missal is a book containing all of the prayers and responses to celebrate the Roman Catholic Mass throughout the year.
In the early 1600s, the missal was bound in a Roman binding of elaborately tooled leather in a French fanfare-style design. A masterpiece of Italian Renaissance art by an anonymous artist from northern Italy, the missal was later acquired by the Austrian branch of the Rothschild family. Seized by the Nazis on the eve of World War II, the missal was returned to the Rothschilds after the war and later sold by them at auction. Now in a private American collection, the Walters plans to display the manuscript as the focus of a temporary manuscript show over Christmas.
View the Cornaro Missal
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The Christmas Story: Picturing the Birth of Christ in Medieval Manuscripts
As it is recounted in the Christian New Testament, the Christmas story is remarkably short on specifics. In rendering the story into pictures, it fell to medieval illuminators to supply the details. Even today, popular representations of these events are based on images that were first devised by the artists of the Middle Ages.
600 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 21201 (The Walters Art Museum)
The Walters Art Museum
Gallery Drawing Family Workshop: Contour and Continuous Drawing
Time: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Young artists are invited to strengthen their observational drawing skills. Recommended for ages 9–13 and their favorite adults.
Jessye Norman: In Conversation with Tom Hall
Time: 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Come hear Jessye Norman, one of America's most accomplished and beloved opera singers, discuss her new book Stand Up Straight and Sing! This Grammy Award-winning international opera star will offer perspectives on her life—from growing up in the South to performing on the world’s greatest stages in conversation with Tom Hall, music director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. Tickets $25 (includes one book).
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Learning by Watching: Andean Textiles and the Fabric of Culture
Time: 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Andean textile specialist Dr. Anne Tiballi, the Andrew W. Mellon Curricular Facilitator at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, will present “Learning by Watching: Andean Textiles and the Fabric of Culture.” During this engaging talk, Dr. Tiballi will explore the production of ancient American textiles, examine their significance, and discuss their impact on the broader material culture of the ancient Americas.