For many local and not-so-local residents, the annual nativity exhibition at the former Knights of Columbus Museum—recently renamed the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center to mark the beatification of New Havener and Knights of Columbus founder Michael McGivney—is a touchstone of the Christmas season.
Like the museum itself, this year is different. The Center isn’t open due to the pandemic, so curators and installers haven’t undertaken their usual meticulous work to bring a new round of artistically and culturally illuminating nativity scenes to life. Would-be visitors, of course, would seem to be out of luck.
But maybe not entirely. Maybe these photos from the museum’s past five nativity shows—of Polish szopki, Salvadoran figures, Neapolitan displays, Bavarian vignettes and more rendered precisely or interpretively, solemnly or joyfully—will help this season feel a little more like Christmas.
Written and photographed by Dan Mims.