Spirit of Bethlehem Porcelain Nativity Exhibit at Stark Museum of Art

Published 12:37 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Special to The Leader

The Stark Museum of Art celebrates the holiday season with an exhibit Spirit of Bethlehem: The Boehm Porcelain Nativity. The exhibit will be on view in the Museum’s Lobby beginning Tuesday, November 21, 2017 through January 6, 2018.

Spirit of Bethlehem tells the Christmas story through the figures of a sixteen-piece Nativity scene in white bisque porcelain. Boehm Porcelain (founded in 1950) produced the set of figurines in the years 1979-1983. Centuries of tradition inspired the artisans of the Boehm studios. They followed the Biblical accounts enriched by medieval stories in designing the porcelain sculptures. The set includes the Christian Holy Family and those gathered at the manger such as angels, shepherds, kings, townspeople, and animals. The works of Edward Marshall Boehm (1913-1969), founder of Boehm Porcelain, also gave inspiration to the project. Boehm established the firm’s identity with his naturalistically modeled birds in porcelain, but he also made works with religious subjects.

Spirit of Bethlehem is a recent acquisition for the Stark Museum and is a gift of the estates of David and Sara Lindsey, 2016. “We invite the public to make a visit to the Museum as part of their holiday experience to enjoy this beautifully crafted Nativity scene. Boehm Porcelain is noted for excellent design. The white surface, highlighted with gold on the three Kings, creates an aura of elegance,” commented Sarah Boehme, Museum curator.

Visitors to the Museum can also see examples of other works by Edward Marshall Boehm and Boehm Porcelain. Included in the exhibit of Boehm birds in Corridor 1 are other recent gifts to the Museum in 2016. The Boehm Porcelain works of Stonechats with Blackberry and Bramble, Racquet-Tailed Hummingbirds with Hibiscus, Costa’s Hummingbird with Rubrum Lily, and Ruby-Throated Hummingbird with Crocus and Forsythia are all gifts of Dr. Edward J. Hurwitz and Mrs. Patricia B. Hurwitz, 2016.

The Stark Museum of Art houses one of the nation’s most significant collections of American Western art and is located in the heart of downtown historic Orange, Texas. Paintings, sculpture, prints and rare books interpret the West from 19th century frontier artists to the 20th century artistic colonies in New Mexico and focus on the stunning land, dramatic people and diverse wildlife of the American West. The Museum features artists such as Frederic Remington, John James Audubon, John Mix Stanley, and Charles Marion Russell. Also featured is a significant collection of American Indian objects, including baskets, pottery, clothing and jewelry.

Stark Museum of Art is located at 712 Green Avenue in Orange, Texas, and is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. For more information, visit starkmuseum.org.