PORTFOLIOS > THE ITALIAN PRESEPE - Cultural Landscapes of the Soul

The Italian Presepe showcases a collaborative project by Margot Balboni, an independent curator and photographer, and Sarah Stanbury, Distinguished Professor in the English Department at the College of the Holy Cross. Over a three-year journey very much driven by the artists, collectors, historians and curators they met along the way, they discovered an important form of Italian installation art: the nativity scene, or the presepe. Each presepe, a miniature landscape - a cabinet of memory - is a palimpsest of Italian art and culture.

The project was supported in part by the Dean’s Office, the Committee on Scholarship at the College of the Holy Cross, the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics, and Culture and the Mellon Foundation

The exhibit originated at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery and includes over seventy of Balboni's photographs of nativity scenes from the 13th century to today, along with photographs of artists at work in contemporary workshops in Rome, Naples, Puglia and Basilicata - four regions where the presepe has developed distinct regional styles.   

The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery published an 80-page catalog with photographs by Margot Balboni, essay by Sarah Stanbury and foreword by Gallery Director Roger Hankins.

2014 Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
College of the Holy Cross Worcester, MA
September 3 - December 17, 2014

2016 Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute Utica, NY

2017 St Botolph Club Boston, MA

Boston Globe Weekend Arts - October 30, 2014
Mark Feeney, The Italian Nativity