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Art Diary

Christmas at the Jägerhof

8 December 2023

The Museum of Saxon Folk Art in Dresden is exploring festive traditions, old and new, with an exhibition that ranges from contemporary crafts to 19th-century designs (until 7 January 2024). Highlights include a newly restored cabinet (c. 1910) that demonstrates the story-telling art of the Sebnitz shadow play: a regional tradition that emerged in the German town of Sebnitz in the early 19th century. In such works, a lantern-like cabinet is lined with intricate papercuts of narrative scenes; inside, heat from candle propels the rotation of a drum that then casts moving shadows. This example is paired with all eight shadow plays from the museum’s collection. Elsewhere, drawings by the Dresden-based graphic designer Ingeborg Geißler – best-known for her Christmas decorations and thread-wrapped Easter eggs – also go on show. Find out more on the Museum of Saxon Folk Art’s website.

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Sebnitz shadow play (c. 1900). Photo: Christina Nehrkorn-Stege; © SKD

Sebnitz shadow play (detail; c. 1910). Photo: Christina Nehrkorn-Stege; © SKD