Historic holiday art shines at Glencairn Museum

BRYN ATHYN, Pa. (WPVI) -- "I've always been a fan of Christmas since I was a little girl," said Leah Smith. "I think a lot of people share that as well."

Smith, the Visitor Experience Manager at Glencairn Museum, seems to have the perfect job.

"Being in an environment where Christmas is all around you, it's what I love," she said.

For more than a decade, she has facilitated incredible experiences involving art, music, and faith for locals and tourists alike. However, this year's global pandemic created a peculiar situation for the team behind the not-for-profit museum.

"In the city of Philadelphia, museums were mandated to close," Smith said. "We thought, how can we stay open and make it as safe as possible for our visitors?"

From today until January 10, 2021, Glencairn Museum is hosting the "Discover Christmas at Glencairn" tour with three time slots per day. Guests must reserve their spot online, wear a mask, and remain distanced during the hour-long self-guided tour. A donation fee of $5 is required.

Tours are now limited to the first floor, as the higher levels and observation deck are now off-limits. To compensate, Glencairn Museum has moved select displays down to its first-floor showroom to enhance the experience.

Prior to the pandemic, the museum offered "Christmas in the Castle" tours. Additionally, they held a "World Nativities" tour through dozens of depictions of the birth of Jesus Christ. Now, each experience will be offered virtually through the Glencairn Museum website.

The World Nativities are being presented in the form of an Advent Calendar, revealing daily nativity scenes starting December 1.

"Whether you're Christian or not, we're looking at beautiful art illustrating a universal idea of the birth of a baby," said Smith. "We want that hope and that love to go out to everyone."

To learn more about Glencairn Museum, visit their website.

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