Holiday at the Arboretum
The Artistry of the Nativity
by: Bobby McDonald
It's one of those "must see" Christmas season trips, to put on your list! It's the Holiday at the Dallas Arboretum, to see The Artistry of the Nativity exhibit in the historic DeGolyer House. The exhibit features the George Dvorsky Collection, The Harrington Collection, the Peter Hall Collection, and the Tommy Bourgeois Collection.
The Harrington Collection features the collection of Dr. and Mrs. Harrington, who began their collection of several hundred nativity scenes, the year they were married, over 50 years ago. They gave their collection of creches to the Dallas Arboretum. This collection is displayed once every three years and includes creches made of a number of different materials, such as coconuts, paper mache, clay, pewter, cattle horns, and other "exotic" materials. The collection has come from many "far away" places from their world travels such as Russia, Spain, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, and Brazil, and proves to be one of the most popular exhibits at the Arboretum.
The George Dvorsky Collection features the collection of Broadway Actor, George Dvorsky, who in 2009 appeared in the Dallas Summer Musical, "Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang," and was shopping in a Christmas Store and asked if anyone displayed Nativity scenes in Dallas. He was told about the Dallas Arboretum and the DeGolyer House Exhibits and a relationship was formed. He displayed his creches for 2009 and has returned as an "encore" display, this year. The collection is diplayed in the Library of the DeGolyer House and includes over 250 nativities from around the world, collected by the actor.
World-Renowned Costume and Set Designer, Peter Hall, passed away in 2012, but designed sets for such luminaries as Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Dames Joan Sutherland, Judi Dench, and Maggie Smith, as well as David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor. His Nativity scene has also been loaned to the Dallas Arboretum. Hall has created the figurines in his creche in the same fashion as the 18th Century Italians, and being a fashion designer has created a spectacular display using lace, old buttons, fabric bits, and ribbons to trim the costumes of his figurines. A huge angel hangs above the spectacular display, that was his first creation in the beautiful display.
Costume, Set, and Prop Designer for the Dallas Opera, Tommy Bourgeois, has loaned the Dallas Arboretum and exquisite Nativity set. It is one of the largest-designed sets containing the Inn, where Mary, Joseph, and the Baby were given shelter. The three kings are arriving with their gifts, camels, and a horse. Their servants are featured with an innkeeper, and several other animals. Incredible costumes are featured on the three Kings and even the dressing on their camels. This is the largest set in the DeGolyer Living Room of the house.
Check the Dallas Arboretum website for times the display is open.