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Notre Dame

Ernest Fiene, Notre Dame, 1929, lithograph on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Baum in memory of Edith Gregor Halpert, 1971.320

On April 15, 2019, the world watched as the Cathedral of Notre Dame caught fire, destroying much of one of the most important buildings in the world. Parisians came out in support of their beloved cathedral, while others began to reflect on the importance of the cathedral in their lives. At SAAM, we started looking at the works in our collection that depicted Notre Dame, and asked Senior Curator Eleanor Harvey, to give us some background on why the cathedral has been beloved by American artists for years.

German Nativity Scenes

An important part of the German Christmas Tradition is the installation of Nativity Scenes. Often built up during the Advent, they accompany the spiritual and expectant sentiment of the pre-christmas-days. As Christmas approaches and people visit their beloved ones, the Nativity Scenes are usually subject of long discussions about the meaning of the holidays and about personal and cultural feelings they evoke.

Image courtesy: Krippenmuseum Oberstadion
The crip in a cave. Image courtesy: Krippenmuseum Oberstadion

Controversial Paintings By Christina Ramos Show Nuns As Sinners

Christina Ramos is a nationally recognized artist from Southern California specializing in figurative realism. Although she studied architecture and interior design during college, it was not until she was home raising her four children that she began focusing on painting. She refined her skills in figurative painting at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art. Her innovative use of acrylic has made her a much sought after demonstrator and instructor. She is currently a Golden Working Artist representing Golden Artist Colors, and a painting instructor at LAAFA.

Her work has been shown at many museums and galleries throughout the United States.

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