Origin: Likely by Frank Applegate
Date: Circa 1930?
Media: Wood, gesso, paint
Dimensions: 16″ x 11.5″ x 7.5″ deep
Description: This is a delightful and unusual nativity scene of Joseph, Mary and the Christ child under the portico of a Southwestern style building facade. The figures are wood carved with gesso and paint. The whole ensemble has a magical feel to it. The date, as well as the maker, is unknown but is assumed to be by Frank Applegate. I can find no nails on it, but have found a few wood pegs used as joinery, suggesting an older age or someone that made it wanting it to appear in the old construction style. This whole scene is 11.5” tall, 16” wide and 7.5” deep.
Provenance: This nativity scene is from the Collection of Alden Frick Megrew (1910-1987), former Chairman of the Art Department University of Colorado, by descent. His family had a house in New Mexico in the 1950’s and 1960’s and photos of these pieces exist showing them in situ in the home from those times.
Condition: Overall excellent condition with some loss to small areas of paint to the figures. There is no apparent restoration. The Christ child appears to be 19th century and has much wear to it including missing an arm. All the figures including the Christ child and its crib are removable.