St. Nicholas Exhibit

Further Information

The exhibit will ultimately have a permanent home at Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia, where it will be available for seminarian formation and open to the public. It is no longer traveling.
Discovering the Truth about Santa Claus
French artifacts
Special collection of French artifacts
Floor Plan
Click for larger sample floor plan


The exhibit tells St. Nicholas story. Artifacts (many unique and museum quality) illustrate his life, his relationship to Christian tradition, and St. Nicholas-related customs around the world.

This professional exhibit is festive, fun, and educational for all ages. It engages children through hands-on activities and special interest items throughout the display.

Exhibit Overview

Discovering the Truth About Santa Claus (title panel)
  • Title & large statue
  • Video introduction<
  • Nicholas the Saint (1 case)
  • Tarkington Quotation with Sebastiano Mainardi painting

The Life of Saint Nicholas
(2 cases)
Stories & Legends (2 cases)
Faith Traditions (2 cases)
Celebration! (2 cases)

St. Nicholas Around the World (2 case introduction)
  • The Netherlands & Belgium (2 cases
  • Germany, France & Switzerland (2 cases + pedestal)
  • East European Gift-Giver (2 cases)
  • Wonderworker in the East (2 cases)
  • Italy, Spain, Portugal & Beyond (2 cases)
  • England & North America (2 cases)

Fine art paintings
from three traditions + a grouping of artifacts from France (2 pedestals)
  • Saint Nicholas, Central European Old Master, mid-1700s
  • San Nicola di Bari, Italy, 14th-15th century
  • The Life and Miracles of St. Nicholas, the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia, Alexander Bogualawski, 2003, large icon-style story painting

St. Nicholas to Santa Claus
(2 cases)

St. Nicholas: An Example to Follow (concluding 2 cases)
  • St. Nicholas points to the Christ Child (creche pedestal)
Children's interactive activities
  • Puzzles for the youngest visitors
  • Rubbings illustrate Nicholas giving dowry money, visiting a family, and as patron saint of children
  • Paper-folding miter-making + a take home sheet with instructions for making a full-sized miter
Saint Nicholas
Old Master, 1700s
Icon-style story painting
The Life and Miracles of St Nicholas
the Wonderworker

Alexander Boguslowski, 2003
San Nicola di Bari
Italy, 14th-15th century

Exhibit pictures from Chicago

Complete exhibit case photos

Artifact Photos

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