Burkardt Creche a centerpiece of museum’s holiday exhibits

10 Dec

When I was at the Webster Museum last Saturday for White Christmas, I mostly wanted to check out all of the newly decorated miniature Christmas trees that have been placed throughout for their annual Festival of Trees.

But I was delighted to find a few surprises. The most wonderful of those was the gorgeous Nativity scene, the Burkardt Family Creche, which is on display in the front room.

The magnificent hand-crafted creche has a very interesting history, chronicled in an undated newspaper article posted next to it. It’s a story which hasn’t been told recently, so I wanted to highlight it again this year.

Here’s the story, which I quote from the exhibit:


This creche was made in Germany by C.Jess, a church architect. He made one piece a year between World War I and World War II, starting the first piece in 1918 and finishing the last one in 1944. He gave the creche to Freda and Henrick Seaubert of Frankfurt, Germany. Mrs. Seaubert was a sister of Rudolph Burkardt, Sr. of Salt Rd., Webster.

The Seauberts kept the creche hidden during World War II so that it would not be destroyed even though their home was bombed. It would have been passed on to their only son, but when he was killed during the war, they sent it to the Burkardts in Webster so that it would remain in the family.

There’s more detail in the newpaper article.

The creche is a beautiful work of art and is well worth making a trip to the museum to see. And as long as you’re there, make sure to check out the Festival of Trees and vote for your favorite!

The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster. They’re open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Call 585-265-3308 for more information.

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