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MSU Museum Rings in the Holiday with "Krampus" Display

“Krampus: the Holiday Devil” a new display at Michigan State University Museum features a number of historical and contemporary Krampus figures from the Val Roy Berryman Christmas Collection. The exhibit takes inspiration in part from a new feature film, “Krampus” opening Dec. 4, about a boy who rejects Christmas and accidentally summons this Christmas demon to his family home. Image of Krampus Display

Krampus is well known in the Alpine culture of southern Germany and Austria and dates back many centuries. Krampus was first paired with St. Nicholas in the early 17th century. St. Nicholas rewards good children with gifts; Krampus punishes misbehaving children with birch switches. His basket and chains were used to haul away evil children.

Pieces in the exhibit are from the personal collection of long-time MSU Museum Curator of History Val Roy Berryman (1940-2013). He began collecting the stuff of Christmas in 1984, and amassed over 5,000 objects, which he donated to the MSU Museum upon his passing. From biscuit tins and boxes, tinsel and trees, to crackers and Krampus. The Berryman Christmas Collections reveals both the traditions and invented traditions of Christmas in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.

“Krampus: the Holiday Day Devil” runs through January 2016 in the Lobby Area of the MSU Museum.