Thanksgiving 2002 - Thanksgiving 2003


This year's nativity representations reflect, as always, a great cultural and geographical variety, and, of course, the riches in motif and tradition that come with it.  From Singapore to Iceland, from pâte d'encens to dyed wool, religious imagination seems to dispose of an inexhaustible arsenal of artistic and devotional inventions and tools to live up to the true sense of the Incarnation: God makes himself available to all people of all times.  To highlight and illustrate this truth we have chosen as motto for the 2003 Christmas exhibit the expression, "The Little Saints."  The little Saints are the little people stamped with great love from God.

The French word, Santons comes from the Italian Santini, or little saints.  Santini were hand-painted clay figures of popular saints sold in marketplaces and by traveling merchants all over Italy and in southern France, the Provence in particular.  In the sun-bleached region of the Provence, with such cities as Marseille, Arles, and Avignon, the "little saints" became Santons, but instead of being adorned with haloes and palm branches, they now wear bonnets and trousers, embroidered shawls, and full skirts.  The Santon is both "collective personality" and colorful individual.  Santons are first and foremost members of a community and representatives of a given cultural and sociological identity. In short, they stand for some aspect of the collective make-up of Provençal towns and villages and, by extension, of other regions of France and beyond.  Not enough to be an envoy of his community, each Santon has his/her  own frequently typified personality and story.  He may be, e.g., the stereotype local yokel or village fool--his collective persona--but he is also the Ravi, or Man in rapture.  Naïve and simple-minded, he is the only citizen of the town who raises his arms to heaven in guileless happiness about the birth of Jesus.

The world of Santons has many different characters, from the belle of Arles (Arlésienne) to Marius, the typical Marseilles bon vivant and poacher.  The complete village counts no less than 130 little figures, mayor, pastor, and gypsies included.



Various Studios
French Santons
France


Studio Roi de Bretagne
Santons of Brittany
France


Unknown
King or Queen for a Day
France


  Agnes Boiste
The Stuff of Fairy Tales
France


Marcel Carbonel
Rapture
France


Pascale Delorme
Alsatian Santons
France


Barmettler Family
Swiss Santons
Switzerland


Bernard Boivin
The Santons of Charlevoix
Canada


Yolande
Aristocrats Among Santons
France

Amos Tay
Fragile Majesties
Singapore


Itari Akayama
Humble Beauty
Japan


Katherine Muench
The Finishing Touch
USA


Unknown
Worship of the Imperfect
Japan

Mario and Miguel Mendoza
A Matter of the Heart
Argentina

Unknown
A Matter of Survival
Madagascar

Unknown
The Greatest Story
Tanzania


Nova 5 Collectible
Cultural Diversity
USA


  Maria degli Angeli
A Symphony of Burlap
Italy


Katrin Barendregt
Dyed in the Wool
Switzerland


Sung June Yim
Bridge Builders
Korea


Gilberte Schneider
Three Santons
Switzerland


Hermine Arbeitshuber
A Victor's Crown
Austria


Kristina Karolina
Yuletide Lads
Iceland


Günter Reichel
The Downward Staircase
Germany


Unknown
New Creation
Poland


Evelyn Martin
Mosaic of Wood
Trotwood, OH


Norman Eckl
Timeless Memory
USA


Gerson International
Carolers' Reward
USA


Julie Good-Kruger
Little Prophets
USA


Esther O'Hara
Amish Christmas
USA



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This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Kris Sommers , was last modified Monday, 06/13/2011 16:45:40 EDT by Ajay Kumar . Please send any comments to jroten1@udayton.edu.