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Rachel Delphia on The Art and History of the Neapolitan Presepe

Date of Lecture: September 25, 2014

About the Speaker: Rachel Delphia is the Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. She has organized exhibitions on topics ranging from contemporary furniture to historic ceramics and was a major contributor to the museum’s 2009 publication, "Decorative Arts and Design: Collection Highlights." She has also served as adjunct faculty at Carnegie Mellon University.

About the Talk: In 1956, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, acquired a major Neapolitan nativity scene, or presepio, from the famed collection of Eugenio Catello. This elaborate 250-square-foot installation comprised a half dozen buildings and over 100 human, angelic, and animal figures dating from c. 1700 to 1830. Using the Carnegie’s nativity as a case study, curator Rachel Delphia discusses the development of this unique tradition and raises questions of conservation and authenticity which are central to contemporary presentations.

The talk was held in conjunction with the Cantor Art Gallery's fall 2014 exhibition of "The Italian Presepe: Cultural Landscapes of the Soul" and is part of the McFarland Center's initiative on Catholics & Cultures.

Watch the lecture below or download it free from iTunes U.