Nativity Art of Ferdinand Pribyl
Nativity Art of Ferdinand Pribyl (1840-1915)
Oct. 17, 2009 – July 4, 2010
During the holiday season, the Institute of Texan Cultures will display two family nativities created by Texas Czech artist Ferdinand Pribyl in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Pribyl nativities have been passed down four generations as family heirlooms.
Pribyl’s nativities are massive 10-to-20-foot dioramas. Pribyl hand-painted the nativity scenes on cardboard from oatmeal boxes, postcards and shirt boxes. The vibrant and colorful scenes depict the traditional Bethlehem stable against a background of Pribyl’s native Moravia, a province of Czechoslovakia. The four-tiered dioramas use vivid colors and include numerous characters and animals across scenes of lush green hills, stone buildings, earthy farmhouses, and wooden sheds.
The institute will display the Stockbauer and Staha families’ complete Pribyl nativities, additional components from the Urban and Hauboldt families’ nativities and a two-dimensional Pribyl nativity painting from the Blasche family.
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