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The Poinsettia Tree

A holiday tradition continues at the R.W. Norton Art Gallery

The Poinsettia Tree

R. W. Norton Art Gallery

The tree in 2019.

The season looks bright for the R. W. Norton Art Gallery. Starting the first weekend of December and going through Twelfth Night (January 6), the Norton hosts a magical holiday tradition that anyone aged 1 to 101 will enjoy. The annual Poinsettia Tree has become a favorite of both staff and visitors over the years. A custom-built, five-tiered steel armature supports 360 potted poinsettias and is a direct descendent of our annual Christmas trees first displayed in 1972.

This twelve-foot-tall “tree” will be the first thing visitors see upon entering the museum, as it will stand in holiday splendor at the center of the Oval Gallery. In past years, local school children have made more than five hundred handcrafted, one-of-a-kind snowflakes to hang from the gallery’s ceiling above and surrounding the tree. That tradition will continue this year, but will be more community-driven, with a “Snowflake Sunday” planned for November 28, from 1:30–3:30 p.m. The public is invited to come enjoy Christmas music and create snowflakes to hang in this year’s tree display.

The tree in 1973. R. W. Norton Art Gallery.

Accompanying the Poinsettia Tree is the Norton’s annual Christmas Exhibition, featuring works of art from the museum’s permanent collection exploring different holiday traditions and their origins. Highlighted in this exhibit is the Norton’s fourteenth-century Book of Hours that was hand-illustrated by French monks. This magnificent piece is only displayed for one month each year, as it is too delicate to be exposed to light for long periods of time. Also on view will be a Russian icon depicting the original St. Nicholas, paintings representing the Madonna, the three wise men, the nativity, and many others.

To bring even more joy this holiday season, the Norton will be hosting events throughout the month of December, including performances by local singers, costumed carolers, and holiday story times for children in our magical Fairy Tale Gallery.

The R. W. Norton Art Gallery is currently open and free to the public on Friday and Saturday from 1–7 p.m. and Sunday from 1–5 p.m. The museum is located at 4747 Creswell Avenue in Shreveport. Visit us online at rwnaf.org.