Our Living Christmas Tree

Last week, we introduced you to Russell Sublette, mountmaker extraordinaire, who is usually happy to be the invisible hand behind the displays at the Museum. But once a year, during the holiday season, he comes out from behind the scenes to become the “Living Christmas Tree.” He adorns himself with garlands, lights, and decorations, and then recruits helper elves (oftentimes unsuspecting McDermott Interns) to carol and spread holiday cheer throughout the DMA.

The tradition started in 1989, when one of the DMA registrars was upset that she had forgotten a Christmas tree to decorate the office. Sublette wanted to cheer her up, so he said, “How about I become a tree?” Since then, the annual event sees co-workers pushing him on a flat cart, toting armloads of cords for the lights and music, around the office hallways, spreading holiday cheer.

“Whenever I do it, I picture myself as Charlie Brown,” Sublette says.

Below is a video of 2013’s “Living Christmas Tree” roaming the DMA halls.


Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Reagan Duplisea is associate registrar of exhibitions at the DMA.


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