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‘Christmas Through The Years’ opens Saturday

Saturday, December 6, is the date of the annual Urbanna Christmas House Tour plus an extra attraction that is unique and exciting in concept. Christine (Christy) Hall has brought her incredibly vast collection of Christmas decorations and ornaments to the Middlesex Art Guild (MAG) Gallery for the December exhibit she has titled “Christmas Through The Years.”

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Classic decorations on Hall’s “Feather Tree.”

After reading that sentence most people are thinking, “So what? Big deal! My house is full of Christmas stuff.” But few people can claim they decorate for Christmas with ornaments over 100 years old and from all around the world covering the entire 20th century and more. Most people are unable to find and use decorations from every decade of the 20th century or any century! Would anyone recognize ornaments from the 1930s, 1950s, or 1960s? Or the difference between decorations made in Europe and decorations made in the USA?

Hall has filled the MAG Gallery with Christmas memorabilia that covers everything from the classic style to pop culture. In the public’s quest through the ages, to be elegant and profound or funky and hip in decorating for the Christmas season to make their homes cheerful and personal, people choose from many themes and ideas of appropriateness.  Hall’s exhibit is a walk through everyone’s life from childhood to adulthood, reflecting what is considered tasteful to tacky in decorating for the Christmas holidays. Some of the things visitors will enjoy seeing are Christopher Radko from the 1980s and 1990’s, vintage ornaments, Nativities, and wood carvings from the Erzgebirge (Christmas pyramid, Schwibbogen, music box, shaved wood trees).

There also will be millennium decorations, 19th-century Kugels, feather trees, an aluminum Christmas tree, a World War II Christmas tree, a European glass Christmas tree featuring glass from Italy, Germany and Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria  and Russia, Christmas Putz, 20th-century American ornaments, bubble lights, spun glass, cotton, chenille, paper mache, and wax, silver and Dresden ornaments. 

Also, there will be plastic ornaments from the 1950s and 1960s, bottle brush, Murano, Rosenthal and Hutschenreuther Christmas plates, a beehive and sunflower tree, vintage paper ornaments, and mouth-blown glass fantasy ornaments.

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Christy Hall displays her “Mary Hartline Doll” on a Christmas morning decades ago.

To top it off there are numerous vintage Christmas cards and postcards, some so rare they must be displayed in a lighted showcase!

What the viewers will experience are trees decorated to interpret the age from which its ornaments and decorations were made. A Christmas tree from the 1920s, a tree from the 1930s, a World War II tree and onward through the years to our present Christmas. From the unusual to the rare, from the bizarre to the mundane, it all will be at the Middlesex Art Guild Gallery. Visitors are welcome to purchase anything in the exhibit that is not marked “sold” or “not for sale.” 

The public is invited to a reception on Saturday, December 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Middlesex Art Guild Gallery on 217 Virginia Street in Urbanna. The reception is generously sponsored by Lawrence and Jo Fuccella.

The “Christmas Through The Years” exhibit continues through December 23. This event is free and open to the public. Weekly gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays.

The Middlesex Art Guild is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit community arts organization and a Community Partner with the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. Contributions may be tax-deductible. For more information about the Middlesex Art Guild and how to support its programs and events, please call 758-9080.

posted 12.04.2008

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