Traditions Retold: Mexican Nativity Scenes

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 to Sunday, August 5, 2012

For centuries, Mexican artists have created nacimientos, or nativity scenes, with materials and symbols that reflect their own cultures and times.

Explore the complex and unique melding of pre-Hispanic and Catholic traditions represented by these compelling and colorful nativity scenes of animals, angels, and expressive figures from across Mexico. In crafting scenes from painted ceramic, corn husks, woven palm fronds, and fired clay, artists celebrate the birth of Jesus and reflect a legacy of Indigenous artistic and ritual practices.

See how Mexican-Americans in Chicago today create nacimientos which bring their new experiences to these long-standing customs. Discover new perspectives on this epic story at the heart of Christian faith in Traditions Retold: Mexican Nativity Scenes, on display at The Field Museum.

This exhibition is presented in English and Spanish.

This exhibition was organized by The Field Museum, and is made possible with a generous gift from William Goldman.