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The Sanctuary Atelier, Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

THE NAVIDAD STORY

In 1223, a humble friar named Francis created the first nativity on the hillside of Greccio, near Assisi, in Italy. From the simple devotions of St. Francis of Assisi to the magnificent craftsmanship of the Renaissance “presepi,” the nativity or creche has remained a symbol of faith and hope for centuries.

Navidad Nativities is proud to present a truly unique collection of remarkable, one of a kind, stunning heirloom nativities with classic realism, celebrating the birth of Christ.

Each one of these distinctive settings…known as nativities, creches, stables, mangers, krippen, nacimientos, belen, presepios… are created entirely in wood, with stone and other natural materials, in Navidad’s Bucks County, Pennsylvania Sanctuary Atelier, by Michael Joseph Stumpf and Anthony Joseph “A.J.” DiAntonio.  A selection of inspiring and distinctive nativity figures with hand-painted features and delicate beauty are gathered from around the world and meet Navidad’s discriminating approval for quality, scale, gestures, rich coloring and details.

Navidad has also produced many unique custom commissions, incorporating the figures we sell, as well as nativity figures that may have been in families for generations.  Navidad Nativities, stables and creches can be found in collections across the country.

In 1223, a humble friar named Francis created the first nativity on the hillside of Greccio, near Assisi, in Italy. From the simple devotions of St. Francis of Assisi to the magnificent craftsmanship of the Renaissance “presepi,” the nativity or creche has remained a symbol of faith and hope for centuries.

Navidad Nativities is proud to present a truly unique collection of remarkable, one of a kind, stunning heirloom nativities with classic realism, celebrating the birth of Christ.

Each one of these distinctive settings…known as nativities, creches, stables, mangers, krippen, nacimientos, belen, presepios… are created entirely in wood, with stone and other natural materials, in Navidad’s Bucks County, Pennsylvania Sanctuary Atelier, by Michael Joseph Stumpf and Anthony Joseph “A.J.” DiAntonio.  A selection of inspiring and distinctive nativity figures with hand-painted features and delicate beauty are gathered from around the world and meet Navidad’s discriminating approval for quality, scale, gestures, rich coloring and details.

Navidad has also produced many unique custom commissions, incorporating the figures we sell, as well as nativity figures that may have been in families for generations.  Navidad Nativities, stables and creches can be found in collections across the country.

Navidad Nativities have been featured in Country Living Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Daily Intelligencer, Nouveau Magazine, Local Living Magazine, Bucks County Town and Country Living Magazine, The Creche Herald, Princeton Magazine, Catholic Faith and Family, Giftware News, The Fontanini Voice, The Saint Anthony Messenger, The Lehigh Valley Morning Call, The Bucks County Herald, on CBS3 Philadelphia, PBS and WFMZ television and many other regional and national publications and media outlets.  Navidad Nativities was also awarded first place for Best of Show at the Pennsylvania Holiday Show produced by Southern Shows nationwide.

The largest nativity created by Navidad can be seen at the Nativity Museum at Byers’ Choice, Ltd, creators of the world famous Carolers® figurines. Navidad nativity designs have also been reproduced and sold worldwide by Roman, Inc./Fontanini, the world’s largest manufacturer of religious goods.  Navidad’s “Bryn Athyn Nativity For The New Century” is part of the permanent collection at Glencairn Museum in Bryn Athyn, PA (glencairnmuseum.org). Our work is also included in the collections at the iconic Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City.

Navidad Nativities make exceptional gifts all year long to commemorate weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions. Many families start with a stable or manger, with several figures, and add to the collection each year.

There is nothing more meaningful and memorable than a family joining together to display their own special nativity at Christmas.

Make Navidad Nativities a part of your family’s enduring Christmas tradition!

The Fine Art of Heirloom Nativity Scenes…crafted in America, with exceptional nativity figures from around the world.

ARTISTS’ BIOGRAPHIES

Michael and sculptor Heinrich Demetz in Val Gardena at his Heide Studio & Museum

MICHAEL JOSEPH STUMPF

Michael Joseph Stumpf is a native of Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  In 1988, after serving as Executive Vice President, he left a successful twenty-year banking career and established a regional marketing and advertising agency. He has served on over a dozen non-profit boards and is a three term past president and chairman of the award winning, 2000 member Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce.

Michael has been creating distinctive, custom settings for nativities since 1980, with research far and wide including Bamberg, Rothenburg & Munich in Germany and Val Gardena, Ortisei, Assisi, Naples & Rome in Italy. Navidad Nativities have been reproduced and sold internationally through 5000 retail locations with an exclusive licensing agreement with the Fontanini Division of Roman, Inc., one of the world’s leading producers of exclusive gift and decorative holiday products.  In 1998, Navidad Nativities garnered “Best of Show” at the Pennsylvania Holiday Showcase presented by Southern Shows.  In 1999, Michael was approached by representatives of the Vatican, to design and produce a Centennial Creche for the Vatican.  He has been represented by two prestigious showrooms at AmericasMart in Atlanta over the years.  And in 2008, he was invited to appear with his nativities on the nationally syndicated Martha Stewart Show.

Michael is now retired from the advertising industry and spends hours working in The Sanctuary, his studio, creating nativities and fine art in rural Buckingham, Pennsylvania.

A. J. DiAntonio in Val Gardenia, Italy with sculptor Daniel Perathoner, at Ulrich Perathoner

A.J. DIANTONIO

Artisan, Designer and “Esteemed Nativity Collector”, A.J. (Anthony Joseph) DiAntonio joined the Navidad team in 2013. A.J. is a graduate of James Madison University with a degree in International Affairs .   For over 12 years he was based in Los Angeles as a Producer in Television and Film Production and worked nationally and internationally on creative projects including Oscar and Emmy telecasts, Ceremonies for the Olympic Winter Games of Salt Lake City, television pilots and series and comedy specials.  He is a member of the Director’s Guild of America.

He returned home to Malvern, Pennsylvania in 2013 where he is manager and seasonal buyer for The Christmas Shop at The Hardware Center in Paoli, PA, voted Best Christmas Shop on the Main Line in 2018, 2019, & 2020 by the readers of Main Line Today, a regional Philadelphia publication.  He is also a Special Projects Consultant and Historian for the iconic Loch Aerie Mansion, a premier wedding and events venue in Malvern, PA, and a Creative Advisor and Historian for the Chester County Council Boy Scouts of America.

A.J. has both collected and created unique nativities since 1981 and his collection currently numbers more than 450 nativity scenes and figures from around the world.  His impressive collection represents many of the finest nativity artisans from all points of the globe and was featured in the Winter 2018 issue of the Creche Herald published nationally by Friends of The Creche.

 A.J. is passionate about nativities. His film production and set design experience is a major asset in the creation of truly unique nativity scenes that reflect The Art of the Nativity worldwide.

SHIPPING, STORAGE & DISPLAYING

SHIPPING

All nativities are carefully packed and fully insured.  Shipping costs for figures
are included from both Europe and for domestic shipment within the contiguous 48 states.  Shipping costs for
nativity settings are also included for the continental U.S. unless otherwise noted.

There is no foreign duty tax in the U.S. for importing religious items.

STORAGE

It’s important to carefully store your nativity. The shipping box can serve as a convenient way to store it when it is not on display. Never store the nativity in an attic, where temperatures can reach a hundred degrees in summer. It should not be stored
in a damp location either. The best storage location is somewhere in your home where heat and air conditioning are available. Your garage could work as well. Some of our customers store their nativities in large plastic bins, readily available from big box stores. Whenever you store you nativity, it’s always a good idea to add some moth balls (not crystals) to discourage mice or other occupants.

 DISPLAY

If your nativity includes lighting of any type, never leave it unattended.  Because nativities are created entirely of wood and natural materials, never put display them near an open flame such as candles or a fireplace, or a direct heat source.  Because we have no control over display location or use of your nativity, we cannot assume any liability for the product however it is used.
As there are many small pieces in each nativity, it is best to keep the nativity out of the reach of small children where those pieces could cause a choking hazard.