Museum collection features the creativity of The Nativity

Spirit of the Bluegrass

MAYSVILLE, KENTUCKY (WDKY-TV)– The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center is a good place to learn a little history, and this month some of it goes back more than 2,000 years. It features an exhibit of Biblical proportions.

The museum is displaying about 200 nativity scenes from around the world, collected by local residents Barb and Tom Clarke.


You can see Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus made from everything from clothes pins to pottery, from oyster shells to driftwood, corn husks and water globes. Many visitors bring their children to remind them of the true meaning of the holiday.


“That’s the reason we celebrate this and it’s a very nice display,” said Roger Owens, who visited with two of his grandchildren. “These are unique things that can’t be found anywhere else.”


A lot of local folks feel nostalgic when they see a full-sized scene as they enter the exhibit hall. They remember when the figures stood in a city park in the 1950s.

The museum’s executive director, C.J. Hunter, said, “We are very fortunate that they were able to save these pieces and go through the restoration of the items.”

The nativity collection is here for a short time, but people come year-round to see other scenes that play out in one of the world’s largest public collections of miniatures. The things in the KSB Miniatures Collection are more than doll houses; they are pieces of art.

“If you look at something and it looks like oak, it’s really oak,” Hunter said. “If it looks like an oil paining, it really is.” He said all crystal, china and silver is the real thing. The collection was commissioned by Kaye Browning and draws visitors from around the world.

The vignettes in the miniatures gallery also take on a different look during the holidays. Look closely and you’ll see tiny ornaments and gifts and other symbols of the season decorating each room.

From the miniatures to the mangers, this is a place for people who love to celebrate Christmas in a big way to see how it’s done in a small way.

The nativity exhibit runs until January 2.

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