3. The Met Museum
Like the American Museum of Natural History’s Tree, the tree at the Met Museum takes inspiration from the institution’s collections. Standing twenty feet tall in front of the eighteenth-century Spanish choir screen from the Cathedral of Valladolid in the Museum’s Medieval Sculpture Hall, the tree is adorned with cherubs and angels from the 18th century.
The Met’s tree tradition started in 1957 when museum patron Loretta Hines Howard started to decorate a tree at the museum with Nativity figures she had been collecting since 1925. Now, the Met holds more than 250 such objects from Howard’s collection. At the base of the tree is an eighteenth-century Neapolitan Nativity scene, surrounded by an array of over seventy figures. The tree will be on view through January 8, 2023 along with a historic menorah. The Menorah, on view in The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Galleries, was created for the Great Synagogue in Lviv (present-day Ukraine) and dates to 1866. It is one of the largest silver Hanukkah lamps known.