WORCESTER — The most unusual area art show of 2014 is “Goya: Order and Disorder,” at the Museum of Fine Arts. It’s unusual because that degree of quality is so uncommon. “The Italian Presepe: Cultural Landscapes of the Soul” may be the second most unusual — unusual because of its subject matter and the imaginatively varied way the exhibition gets at it. The show runs through Dec. 17 at the College of the Holy Cross’s Cantor Art Gallery.
A presepe is a nativity scene. The tradition began with St. Francis of Assisi, in the Italian town of Greccio. Francis said Christmas Eve Mass there, in 1223, with straw on the altar and live animals, re-creating the manger setting. Over the centuries, the crafting