Advent calendars have been inspiring the imagination of young and old for over 120 years.
December 03, 2021
Neukirchen b Hl Blood.Mayor Markus Müller opened the 83rd special exhibition “In the Land of the Christ Child. Advent calendar from the Esther Gajek collection ”. This presents a wonderful excerpt from a large special collection, from what is probably the most important of this group of objects in the world.
Taking into account the thematic and conservation requirements of Dr. Gajek, this international exhibition was set up by the team around museum director Maria-Luise Segl with the help of the building yard and the tourist information office. Thanks also went to Dr Bärbel Kleindorfer-Marx and her team for their support in the background, as well as to the deputy district administrator Florian Schwemin for developing a video podcast. The cultural scientist and collector Dr. Esther Gajek introduced a topic that has accompanied her since childhood, for which she has been “burning” for decades and in which she has earned an excellent reputation in specialist circles as a proven expert.
In the past, Christmas was celebrated very modestly with the lights shining from the cribs, but the place has changed from the church to the houses where gifts are bought and the way of celebrating.
The waiting time should be shortened in several ways, as the exhibits suggest. Chalk lines on the door, calendars with 24 pictures to be deleted, cut out or torn off, self-painted Christmas clocks or door calendars led through the Advent season. The change in the 80 of over 3000 old, valuable and interesting pieces presented there can be traced chronologically in the showcases.
The first thing visitors notice is an advent tree. The history of the advent calendar goes back a long way. From the first picture advent calendar “In the Land of the Christ Child” to the “Christmas clock” and the “Ladder to Heaven”, the range extends further to the National Socialist Advent calendar “Pre-Christmas” and the “Snowy City of Heaven” in the GDR to the present day, to cartoon characters and teddy bears -Christmas. Door, pull-out and plug-in calendars are also represented, as are specimens with chocolate filling, which have been around since 1925.
In the 80s, the product range was split into adult calendars with delightful gifts. There are atmospheric religious illustrations and international motifs on display, as well as profane and mystical works that contain little tranquility. Because “as cultural scientists we document things – and do not evaluate them”, says Dr. Gajek insight into the selection of her exhibits, which will lead the visitor on special paths into the “Land of the Christ Child”. (kbr)
2G plus (free self-test under supervision, FFP-2 mask requirement, AHA rules). Entry to the special exhibition in the pilgrimage museum is free until December 15th.
Tuesday to Friday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday / Sunday / public holidays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact: (0 99 47) 94 08 23
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