NACOGDOCHES, Texas – In celebration of the holiday season, The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House will host a display of antique Christmas ornaments throughout December.

“The Art of Christmas Past” is provided courtesy of two private collectors and features a variety of ornaments, many of which are 100 years old or older, according to John Handley, director of galleries for the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art.

Included will be delicate hand-blown and painted glass ornaments, hand-made ornaments of spun cotton with applied faces, and the hard-to-find Dresden cardboard ornaments of the 19th century, Handley said.

Handley’s exhibition statement describing “The Art of Christmas Past” reads: “The marriage of the young Queen Victoria to the German-born Prince Albert in 1840 changed the landscape of English taste forever. Albert was instrumental in bringing his German traditions to England, which included the Christmas tree. From that time onward, Victoria and Albert popularized a new way of celebrating Christmas, complete with table top miniature trees adorned with hand-made ornaments, candles, sweets, fruit, and small gifts. Within a few years, homes across England and the United States began to follow suit.”

“The display will also feature an assortment of antique toys and other Christmas-related items,” Handley said.

Exhibitions and displays are sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts and Nacogdoches Junior Forum. Admission is free.

The Cole Art Center, SFA’s historic art gallery, is located at 329 E. Main St. Gallery hours are 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.