Arts
7:25 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Carnegie Trees Back Again For The Holidays

A long standing holiday tradition in Pittsburgh returns as the Carnegie Trees at Carnegie Museum of Art kicks off its 51st year.

Seven grand, 20-foot trees, flank the museum’s perennial favorite, the Neapolitan presepio, a beautiful 18th century Nativity in the Hall of Architecture.

Each tree is stylishly decorated in an international theme celebrating Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851–1939, now on view in the Heinz Galleries at Carnegie Museum of Art.

Jonathan Gaugler, spokesman for the Carnegie Museum of Art, says the event could not have taken place without a very special group, the Women's Committee.

"They are an all-volunteer organization in their own non-profit and their own right, but they’re dedicated to helping us out in what we do; and so this is a fundraising event for the museum. It is also just something that I think is really important to them, it makes the place really beautiful and is a really important Pittsburgh holiday tradition that I think everyone just kind of lights up whenever it’s around.”

Along with the Carnegie Trees, a visit to the museum’s Neapolitan presepio, one of the finest Nativity scenes of its kind, has been a Pittsburgh holiday tradition since 1957. Handcrafted between 1700 and 1830, the presepio features lifelike figures that re-create the Nativity within a vibrant panorama of 18th century Italian village life. More than 100 human and angelic figures, along with animals, and architectural elements, cover 250 square feet and depict the Nativity as seen through the eyes of Neapolitan artisans and collectors.

The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History will also offer special holiday drop-in activities to day-long art and science camps during the holiday season.