LAWRENCE, KS.- The Spencer Museum of Art
is sharing rarely-seen objects from its collection with the public this season. In accordance with a long-standing tradition, the 18th-century Italian presepio, or nativity scene, is on view in the Renaissance Gallery. This nativity exemplifies an ornate style that was created in Naples , and in addition to the standard depictions of the Infant Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the Magi, the elaborate composition contains a wide range of figures reflecting everyday Neapolitan life. Given to the Spencer in 1928 by Mrs. Sally Casey Thayer, the presepio demonstrates the skill and expressivity of the18th-century artisans who created these popular nativity scenes.
Also, for the duration of the winter season, Four Flemish Tapestries will be on view in the Central Court . This exhibition features important components of the Spencers extensive textile collection that have not been shown for nearly 25 years. The four large tapestries were created during the late 16th and early 17th centuries, and are exceptional for their completeness and quality. These tapestries depict a range of subjects, from a fanciful leopard hunt to an idyllic scene of country life, and they illustrate the virtuosity of the Flemish workshops that were important centers of tapestry production from the late 1300s until the 18th century.
Exhibitions currently on view at the Spencer include Big Shots: Andy Warhol, Celebrity Culture, and the 1980s, Earthly Vessels: African Ceramics, and Extra/Ordinary: Video Art from Asia.