Ox, donkey, elephant and kangaroo - Christmas cribs from Naples to Sydney in the Würth Collection
27 November 2022 – 29 January 2023
They are an integral part of the Christmas decoration not only in Europe but worldwide – the Christmas cribs. Whether made of wood, stone or clay in life-size or so small that they fit into a matchbox, Christmas cribs are available in all imaginable forms and materials from Australia to South America.
The Würth Collection's stock of cribs goes back to the private collection of Edwin and Wilma Buchholz, which was acquired in 2002. The Ulfert Buchholz Collection, named after the couple's son who died at an early age, comprises 700 cribs from more than 130 countries on five continents, collected over 50 years. From the very beginning, the internationality of the works was the focus of the collecting interest. The collectors wanted to document the phenomenon of the Christian faith not only from a European perspective, but to include as many of the world's perspectives on this event as possible. To this end, they sometimes specifically commissioned artisans in various countries to create a crib. In this way, a variety of techniques and materials naturally emerged: Painting on a bark leaf from Mexico, a shell crib from South Africa, or a Vietnamese root wood crib next to the whale tooth crib from Alaska. The retellings of the birth of Christ in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew have been given countless magnificent interpretations in pictures, reliefs and full-scale sculptures from the earliest days of Christian art history to the present day.
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