From 1931 Boston Globe report “Tableau of the Nativity is set up in home of an Italian” at 15 Middle St. #GloucesterMA

Did your family share stories about visiting this elaborate (all?) indoors Christmas display? I’d love to see a photograph(s).

Gloucester, December 23, 1931- The religious fervor combined with the artistry of the Italian race is exemplified in the tableau of the nativity set up in the home of Capt. Joseph Curcurru, 15 Middle St, a leading figure in the Italian group of this city.

It is exciting much admiration not only among the Italian residents but among others of the city hundreds of whom have already viewed it.

Two walls of the reception room have been converted into the tableau background which represents a cyclorama of the country about Bethlehem. In a corner are the central figures, statues representing Mary, Joseph, the manger and the Infant Jesus.

Coming from the East are the three wise men and each day they are moved a day’s journey forward toward their objective until eventually on Jan. 6, which the Italians term the “Little Christmas,” they will arrive in the stable of the inn.

All around the panorama may be seen shepherds tending their sheep, peasants tilling the fields, trees and a running brook produced by an electric engine from a tank of water, in addition to other accessories which go to complete the composition.

The Italian quarter at the Fort is already taking on the signs of festivity incident to the season. They stress the religious note. The majority of their fishing craft are named after saints, whereas the native American fisherman named his clipper schooner for wife or daughter in the majority of instances.

Whittier somewhere in his verses noted this nomenclature custom of Saxon and Latin fisherman.

“TABLEAU OF THE NATIVITY IS SET UP IN HOME OF AN ITALIAN AT GLOUCESTER: Religious Fervor, Combined With Fine Artistry, Is Exemplified in This Unusual Cyclorama of Country Around Bethlehem” Boston Globe, p.2, Dec. 24, 1931

Wonder which Whittier poem?

One thought on “From 1931 Boston Globe report “Tableau of the Nativity is set up in home of an Italian” at 15 Middle St. #GloucesterMA

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