Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Books About Nativity Scenes

In this post I’ll share several of the books in the collection. These titles deal with the nativity scene as a subject, i.e., as an artifact depicting the story of Jesus’ birth. Another post will cover my books which tell the story of Christ’s birth.

First I’d like to share a book which relates the story of the first nativity scene.

The Living Nativity: The Story of Saint Francis and the Christmas Manger by Helen Haidle. Illus. by David Haidle. Honor Books, 1998. Hardcover with dust jacket. 32 p. color illus.

The next two books present the history of nativity scenes.

The Christmas Crèche: Treasure of Faith Art & Theater by Matthew Powell, O.P. Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media, c1997.
156 p. illus. Hardcover

Nativity: Crèches of the World. Leslie Piña and Lorita Winfield. Photography by Leslie & Ramón Piña. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., c2000.
144 p. illus. 537 color photos. Hardcover

"Artisans from more than forty countries on five continents are represented, each with beautiful expressions of the greatest story ever told, often with photographs from the country of origin to accompany the artwork. Whether sculpted in clay, carved from wood, painted, woven, or cast, these Crches from around the world are sure to enhance holiday celebrations and illustrate the universality of the Christmas message."

The book below focusses on ethnic nativity scenes produced in the southwestern United States.

Nacimientos: Nativity Scenes by Southwest Indian Artisans by Guy and Doris Monthan. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Avanyu Publishing Inc., c1990.
93 p. Text in English, German and Spanish. Illus. Paperback.

The next two books present the creche collections of two different collectors.

The Christmas Creche by Elaine Cannon. Bookcraft Publications, 1998
Hardcover, n.p. 8 H x 10 W.

"Story of the nativity of Jesus, illustrated with photos of nativity scenes (cráeches) from the collection of Holly Zenger."

Art of the Creche: Nativities from Around the World by James L. Govan. London, New York: Merrell, 2007.

This book presents the great variety of nativities to be found around the world, as collected by the author and his late wife.

The three titles that follow showcase the famous Neapolitan Nativity scene of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The Nativity: Christmas Creche. Photographed by Lee Boltin. Doubleday, 1969.
66 p. illus.

The volume presents photos of the Neapolitan nativity at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Loretta Hines Howard Collection.

The Angel Tree: A Christmas Celebration. Linn Howard and Mary Jane Pool. Photographs by Elliott Erwitt. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, c1993.
88 p. illus. Hardcover.

"The 109 photographs reproduce in breathtaking detail the extraordinary collection of 18th-century Neapolitan Baroque creche figures."

The Nativity: Adapted from an Eighteenth-century Neapolitan Christmas Creche by Borie Svensson. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, c1981.

This hardcover book contains a fold-out nativity based on the Neapolitan crèche given to the museum by Loretta Hines Howard. It unfolds to nearly 3 feet, depicting three-dimensional scenes from the Christmas Story - the Nativity, Annunciation to Shepherds, and Arrival Three Kings.

Finally, a special cookbook combines the nativity tradition with festive cooking.

The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas: The History of the Season’s Traditions, With Recipes for the Feast by Jeff Smith. Photographed by Louis Wallach. Woodcuts by David Frampton. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., c1991.
297 p. illus. Hardcover.

Each chapter begins with an illustration of one of the nativity figures in the author’s family nativity set. A recipe dedicated to the character represented by that figurine follows .

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