Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Museum of Art

Current Exhibitions

Art and Faith of the Crèche: The Collection of James and Emilia Govan Goes Virtual!

We’re continuing on with the Art and Faith of the Crèche which has been a LUMA holiday tradition for over ten consecutive years. This year we're highlighting the 25 days of Christmas through our online advent calendar! This celebration of global artistic expression continues to captivate audiences of all ages as new crèches are incorporated into the exhibition each year. James and Emilia Govan began collecting crèches in the 1970s as they traveled around the world.

James Govan worked for the United States Agency for International Development, and Emilia Govan, a lawyer, was named Washingtonian of the year in 1974 for her leadership in environmental and transportation issues. Beginning with a simple Sicilian crèche that reflected Emilia’s heritage, the couple’s collecting became a passion. The Govans traveled the world collecting unique examples of this popular art form. In many cases, the Govans commissioned crèche that reflected the local cultures of artists and artisans through native flora, fauna, costumes, and architecture.

Through the generosity of the Govan family, LUMA now has more than five hundred crèches from over 100 countries. We welcome you to view our presentation during this unique Christmas season and invite you to delight in the wonder and joy of crèche from around the world.

You can view the photo gallery version of our slideshow at the bottom of this page.