2006_11_arts_amnhtree.jpgAs mentioned earlier, the American Museum of Natural History unveiled its Origami Holiday Tree yesterday. Although the Origami Holiday Tree has been a tradition at the museum for more than thirty years (see last year's article), it's a good year to get into origami. Let's face it, with Polly Pocket recalled and Nintendo Wii sold out virtually everywhere, all kids may have left to play with this holiday season is wrapping paper.

Five hundred paper bears, giraffes, and tigers ornament the tree as part of this year's Origami Safari theme. Members from OrigamiUSA contributed the elephants designed by Marc Kirschenbaum and Shigemasa Hoshino. Volunteers will be teaching the art of origami at the museum on December 10 and January 7.

2006_11_arts_treesafari.jpgSimilar to the way some critics discredit pop art as not being real Art, origami sometimes is dismissed as mere paper folding. However, origami ("ori" meaning fold; "kami" meaning paper) has been a traditional art form in Japan since the Edo era.

Sure, you could wait till after Thanksgiving to see the Origami Holiday Tree (it will be on display through January 1), but if this year's pre-Black Friday shopping blitz is any indicator, you may get stuck watching the over-hyped tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center or buying an Origami Boulder off of the internet instead.