Her life and her love for Italy
Hiky Mayr is an art collector of German origin, who for many years has been dedicating her work to the search, the collection and the restoration of sculptures of Jesus. The feedback from the public on the occasion of numerous exhibitions in renowned Italian museums as well as museums abroad has, up to now, been very positive. Moreover, the well-known art-editor and publisher Franco Maria Ricci has dedicated a wonderful book to her collection.
This induced Hiky Mayr to open her own exhibition space in Gardone Riviera on Lake Garda. This must also be seen as a sign of gratitude of the artist to the town, which for many years she has now been calling home. In Gardone Riviera Hiky Mayr is married to the well-known hotelier Rudy Mayr. They have two children who are closely integrated into the running of the family hotel and thus continue the family tradition.
Talking to Hiky Mayr one immediately understands what the artist wants to express. There is, for example, her absolute dedication to the re-discovery of Jesus-sculptures, which are a national piece of cultural possessions for Italy and which without Mayr’s hard work would have been lost, or worse, never have been taken any notice of at all.
The Museum Hiky Mayr is indeed the only museum in the whole world which exhibits such an important and large collection of Jesus–sculptures. With each single exhibit the collection shows the techniques and materials as well as the use and iconography of sculptures, which mainly depict Baby Jesus and, in some rare cases, also the female form of Mary’s child. All pieces of art are single, individual pieces and certainly do not form part of a Christmas crib as their sizes are between 60 and 90 centimetres for standing figures and between 50 and 70 centimetres for reclining figures.
The collection includes naked as well as wrapped-up representations of Baby Jesus, standing and sitting figures, small regal children in splendid costumes and with rich ornaments but also very simple and traditional representations of Baby Jesus. All kinds of materials have been used to create them, for example, wood carvings, wood in various colours, wax, burned clay and paper-maché.