A nativity scene sits in the Hall of Architecture beside large decorated holiday trees.

Neapolitan presepio, ca. 1700–1830, Carnegie Museum of Art, photo: Tom Little

Neapolitan Presepio

Scaife Galleries

This season, encounter the Neapolitan Presepio as never before, situated in our galleries. For the first time, this cherished fixture will be exhibited in proximity to paintings and sculptures in the collection, contextualizing the artwork. Sharing a gallery with Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces such as The Nativity and The King and the Shepherd by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, visitors will be able to enjoy and reflect on the Presepio in an inspiring and new context.

The Presepio, a centuries-old tradition in Naples and southern Italy, is an elaborate Nativity scene recreated with miniature figures arranged in a detailed panorama of 18th-century life in Naples. Handmade by artists between 1700 and 1830, Carnegie Museum of Art’s vibrant Neapolitan Presepio, one of the finest examples of its kind, features superbly modeled human, animal, and angelic figures, accessories, and architectural elements. A visit to the Presepio has been a cherished holiday tradition for many visitors since 1957.

Art Chats

Want to learn more about the Neapolitan Presepio? Drop-in to the museum and meet a docent for an Art Chat tour and experience the nativity through the eyes of Neapolitan artisans and collectors. Art Chats are available on a drop-in basis and will take place from November 20 to January 9 on Thursdays from 6–7:30 p.m. as well as Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m.–noon and 1–2:30 p.m. in the gallery.

Video Preview

Neapolitan Presepio at Carnegie Museum of Art

Together This Season

This year, visitors are invited to celebrate together this season at Carnegie Museum of Art! Make the museum your backdrop with Friends and Family Photoshoot, create a handmade gift inspired by art and enjoy holiday treats during Gift-Making Workshops, celebrate the end of the year with your team during one of our Out of Office Parties, and delight in live musical performances every Saturday from November 27 through December 18 during Sounds for the Season.

Health & Safety

The health and safety of our visitors and staff is our top priority. Read our health and safety protocols to learn more about the steps we are taking to ensure the health of everyone at the museum.