“Folk Art Nativities of the Americas” opens Saturday at the Museum of the Americas with the addition of a 19-inch high, three-dimensional retablo from Lima, Peru.
This extraordinary retablo features the birth of Jesus in the bottom tier and the throne of the Risen Christ in the top tier. This piece and more than 120 other Nativities are on display from Oct. 19 through Dec. 21.
This retablo style from Peru is a descendant of the portable altars introduced by the Spanish in the 16th century. The figures are made of plaster mixed with mashed potato, painted, and placed in a painted wooden box. The scene of the birth of Jesus reflects Andean culture, dress, hats, and musical instruments, the upper tier shows musicians, as well as robed priests in attendance. Animals from Europe and South America help complete the manger scene.
The Nativities in this exhibit are handcrafted and reflect the artisan’s personal view of the world and story of the birth of Jesus. They are done by indigenous peoples from the Native American Southwest, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. They share traditional elements but display great variety in color and size, in mediums of clay, wood, tin and cloth. Many display unique local customs, interpretations and dress.
Museum of the Americas is located at 216 Fort Worth Highway in Weatherford, just east of the courthouse square. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free. Call 817-341-8668 or see www.Museumoftheamericas.com for more information.