Carnegie Museum of Art & Natural History

December 18
4 – 8 p.m.

Viewing the stunning Carnegie Trees is among Pittsburgh’s most cherished holiday traditions.

Making the pilgrimage to the iconic trees at Carnegie Museums of Art & Natural History just got a lot easier on your wallet. Bask in the dazzling holiday glow—and take advantage of free admission—during a special Holidays at the Museums night on Thursday, December 18th.

There is truly something for every visitor at the Oakland destinations this holiday season—from the majestic Carnegie Trees and Neapolitan presepio to major new exhibitions including The Scientific Art of Charles R. Knight at Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals at Carnegie Museum of Art.

Step into the Hall of Architecture to discover towering 20-foot Colorado spruce trees, each adorned with handcrafted ornaments that celebrate the wonder and beauty of winter. This year’s trees were created by Mernie Berger and Lowrie Ebbert (with Bonnie Blaxter, Barbara Granito and Jennifer Muse); Janet Hunt and Gail Murphy; Carole Kamin and Cynthia Cooley; Nancy Lewis (with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh); and Laura Beattie and Beth Braughler (with the Frick Art and Historical Center). The popular seasonal display is lovingly spearheaded each year by the CMOA’s Women’s Committee.

The perfect companion to the Carnegie Trees is the exquisite 18th-century Neapolitan Nativity scene, or presepio, which features lifelike figures and ornate colorful details within a vibrant panorama of 18th-century Italian village life. Also on view through January 5th in Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hall of Architecture, the dazzling presepio was handcrafted by skilled Italian artisans between 1700 and 1830. Filling a 250-square-foot area are some 100 superbly modeled human and angelic figures, along with animals, accessories and architectural elements, which together recreate the Nativity via the eyes of Neapolitan artisans and collectors. Considered to be one of the finest Nativity scenes of its kind in the world, the Neapolitan presepio has been a beloved Pittsburgh holiday favorite since 1957.

Looking for something fabulous for that creative person on your holiday gift list? Pop into the newly renovated CMOA Design Store, as well as the CMNH Store for unique one-of-a-kind items—from eclectic jewelry to hand-painted dinosaur models.

Visiting with a group? Get a behind-the scenes look at the museums and holiday attractions by booking a group tour.

Free admission is supported by the Jack Buncher Foundation and the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Women’s Committee.

Jennifer BaronEvents & Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.