Precious Moments Chapel and Gardens – Carthage, Missouri - Atlas Obscura
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Carthage, Missouri

Precious Moments Chapel and Gardens

An adorably sweet display of sculpted Hummel figurines. 

You know those sweet little Hummel figurines that you may have found around your grandma’s house? Well, America has its own home-grown version, created by Samuel J. Butcher, known as Precious Moments. Tucked away in the southwestern corner of Missouri, these little figurines are on display in a rather remarkable attraction. 

Mr. Butcher’s art spawned a whole new craze among members of a new generation of “collectibles” collectors, or simply anyone with a soft spot for really, really sweet figurines that will be instantly recognizable, particularly to any of us who lived through the 1980s and 90s. As Mr. Butcher’s success grew he decided to create a complex of chapel and gardens to celebrate what his creations meant to him.

The centerpiece is the Precious Moments Chapel, which will be instantly recognizable as an homage to nothing less than the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican … but populated instead by the children and cherubs of the Precious Moments tribe. The chapel is surrounded by gardens, (including memorial gardens for deceased children and relatives). There is a visitor center, with exhibits which chronicle the development of Mr. Butcher’s artwork and industry as well as a gift shop, and cafe. All in all the complex is so sweet you may want to check your blood-glucose level before you visit.

Know Before You Go

The chapel and gardens are open year-round but the visitor center/museum and other amenities are closed in the off-season. See their website for specific hours