Pueblo Nacimientos Pottery Nativity Sets

November 01, 2021 until January 07, 2022


"Nacimiento" is the Spanish word for nativity scene or crèche. This art form has been popular in Europe since the fifteenth century. The first known Native American-made nativities appeared in the late 1950s. In 1961, the International Museum of Folk Art exhibited the extensive nativity scene collection of Alexander Girard, which included two Native sets. The exhibit increased interest in the art form, encouraging Native artists to create their own works. By the 1970s, artists from a variety of tribes were creating and selling Nacimientos. Today, the sets are widely appreciated and enthusiastically collected.

Native American Nacimientos will initially include 16 sets mostly made by now-deceased artists from a variety of pueblos. Each nacimiento is as different from the others as the artists are from one another.
One might assume that the subject matter-highly specific, and religious in nature-would inspire rigid, formulaic artworks, but this exhibit suggests otherwise. The viewer will notice an incredible amount of cultural and personal expression within the artworks included in Native American Nacimientos.

Stay tuned as this show will grow with additional nativity sets through the holidays.

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