It may only be July but you can bet that Santa and his elves are already busy making toys for Christmas! Fortunately, Thomas Nast (1840-1902), through his drawings, gives us hints of some of the work that is happening right now at Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. In the late 1800s, Nast’s drawings of Santa Claus were among the most popular illustrations he made while working as an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly. Some of Nast’s 33 Santa images were inspired by Clement Moore’s 1823 poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Nast taught us that Santa reads letters from children and creates a naughty and nice list. He may have also been the first to reveal the secret location of Santa’s workshop at the North Pole.
Nast moved with his family to Morristown in the spring 1872. They lived in Villa Fontana, just across the street from Macculloch Hall. The roofs and steeples of Morristown, his home on Macculloch Avenue and several of his children are included in many of Nast’s images of Santa Claus.
- To learn more about Thomas Nast’s drawings of Santa Claus with MHHM’s F.M. Kirby Curator of Collections Ryan Hyman, visit www.smithsonianmag.com.
- To see Nast’s Santa images in person, visit us in December. Bring your Santa Search and Find sheet with you to MHHM and you and your family can visit FREE! (PDF document)
Topic: Thomas Nast, Christmas For Kids!
Age / Level: Elementary