The exhibition, which opens Nov. 6, 2021, will run through Jan. 2, 2022. Curators George Johnson and Randall Thropp carefully considered each component of the exhibition to maintain its authenticity.
Featured in the exhibition are an assortment of Christmas trees adorned with authentic 19th-century Victorian ornaments from Johnson’s personal collection
“Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had nine children, and for Christmas, they set up a tree for each of their children,” Johnson said. “So we’re going to put up eight trees plus one Christmas pyramid, which is a German tradition.”
A Christmas pyramid is a carousel-like structure that can vary in size and dates back more than 200 years. The pyramid that is part of the “A Victorian Christmas” exhibition will feature four different platforms, with a windmill at the top.
“Victoria’s grandfather and great-great grandfather were German, and Prince Albert was German, so German Christmas trees were no stranger to them,” Johnson said. “Princess Victoria wrote in a diary about going to her grandparents’ house and seeing their decorations.”
In addition to authentic Victorian ornaments, electric candles will adorn each of the trees to replicate the use of real candles used during the 19th century time period. Victorian-era toys will sit under the trees, with nearby mantles decorated with antique Christmas decorations.
Visitors will also get a glimpse of what men and women may have worn to celebrate the holidays through the incorporation of costumes found in a popular exhibit at the museum.
Thropp, who curated the “Distinctly Paramount: Fashion & Costume from the Paramount Pictures Archive” exhibition that runs through Jan. 2, 2022 at DACO, selected a handful of costumes from the small and big screens to showcase in the Victorian Christmas exhibition.
“I am excited to be a small part of this year’s Victorian Christmas exhibition at DACO,” he said. “Five Paramount costumes will be added to the first floor that represent The Alienist, Angel of Darkness and So Evil My Love.”
“A Victorian Christmas” will be open during regular museum hours. At least two formal tours are planned, and docents will be on hand to provide information about this exhibition during regular museum hours.
On Sunday, Dec. 12 at 1:30 and 3 p.m. George Johnson will hold a Curator’s Talk on the history, customs and traditions of the holidays from the Victorian era. Register online at decartsohio.org.