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
Thursday Nights at the Walters
Date: 09/05/13 - 12/18/14
Time: 05:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Discover how the Walters comes alive at night! Every Thursday from 5-9 p.m., you can wander the galleries, see special exhibitions for FREE, eat in our café and find the perfect gift at the museum store.
Walk-In Tour: Jacob Lawrence's Genesis Series
Time: 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
The celebrated African American artist Jacob Lawrence illustrated the biblical creation in his Genesis Series. This 1989 commission resulted in a set of eight silkscreened images in bold colors that move in an active, cinematic style, recalling the passionate sermons heard during the artist's youth. Explore these striking works of art, on loan from a private collection, during this free, docent-led tour, starting in the Centre Street lobby.
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Ikebana Floral Demonstration by Ikebana International
Time: 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Held in conjunction with our special exhibition Designed for Flowers: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics, this program, one in a series of three, will feature masters from Ikebana International demonstrating the art of Ikebana for a live audience. Ikebana, a traditional form of artistic expression, combines organic material, most notably flowers, and specially chosen vessels, as seen in the special exhibition, into works of art that are aesthetically unique to Japanese culture.