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
Collateral Damage: The Fate of Cultural Property during Armed Conflict
Time: 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
The 2003 looting of the Iraq National Museum shocked the world. But
despite new efforts to save world treasures, the loss of cultural property
during armed conflicts is on the rise. Corine Wegener, Smithsonian
Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer, will talk about her work as a U.S.
Army “Monuments Man” in Iraq. Terry Drayman-Weisser, the Walters’
Director of Conservation and Technical Research, will describe damage
to Iraq’s ancient Nimrud ivories and continuing efforts to preserve Iraq’s
cultural heritage. Sponsored by the Boshell Foundation.
Gallery Drawing Family Workshop: Language of Shape
Time: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
NEW! Join us for a brand-new family drawing workshop! Young artists are invited to strengthen their observational drawing skills and build their portfolios while exploring works of art in the Walters’ collection. Explore the principles and basic language of shape as we learn to simplify visual complexity. Recommended for ages 9–13 and their favorite adults.
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The Art of Ancient Hairdressing
Time: 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM
See ancient sculpture in a whole new way through the eyes of hairdressing archaeologist Janet Stephens. Find out how ancient Greeks and Romans created their elaborate and beautiful hairstyles without hairspray, bobby pins, or even shampoo!