Posts Tagged ‘John Doyel’

A Visit from Santa at our Holiday Party!


Santa Claus is Coming to The City Reliquary!
Friday, December 16th, 5-9 PM
370 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburgh, BK
$8 general/$5 Reliquary members/Kids free

Join us Friday, December 16th from 5 to 9 PM to celebrate the holiday season in true City Reliquary style! The evening will include a special visit from Santa Claus at 6 PM. We’ll serve cookies & milk for kids, coffee & “yuletide cheer” for adults! Holiday tunes set the festive mood while children visit with Santa. We’ll provide materials for making wish lists.

Tickets available now through Artfully! $8 general/$5 Reliquary members. All children admitted free of charge. Become a member today!

This year we’ve decked the halls with the Christmas kitsch collection of John and Rowena Doyel. John always had a taste for the offbeat–he was a beatnik painter who hung out with artists Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock in the 50s. When Rowena discovered that their property once belonged to Clement Clarke Moore, famous for A Visit From St. Nicholas (better known as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas), John found a new outlet for his interest in unusual things. The Doyels developed a massive collection of wind-up, battery-operated, and spring-loaded Santas dating from the 1920s to the 1960s. Each year, John activated these figures in “The Santa Show,” a performance for friends and neighbors that created a sensory overload of flashing lights, electronic music, and animated figures. The New York Times detailed John’s collection and life story in a piece from 2009.

One of John’s “Santa Show” performances was captured in a home video by his son-in-law, Nick Fritsch, in 1985. The City Reliquary display includes a looped screening of this short film.

We’re very excited that John Doyel’s daughter, Lesley, will join our holiday party! Lesley will recreate John’s performance of The Santa Show in a live demonstration incorporating many of the Santas on display! Check out just a few of the quirky figures we’ll show off during the party: