Father Christmas


With a collection of yuletide ephemera that rivals St. Nick’s, it’s no wonder Dolph Gotelli is known worldwide as Father Christmas.

Starting at the age of six when he acquired his first Santa Claus, Gotelli has explored, expanded and expounded on keeping alive the fables and fantasies of Christmases long past.

So much more than a consummate collector, Gotelli is a wizard who spins his multidisciplinary talents and multi-layered wit, whimsy and minutiae into a time-tested tribute to the decorative delights of Christmas—and far beyond to the outer reaches of make-believe and imagination.

Over the years, he has advanced his vision as an artist, designer, curator, and professor with all the fun and wonder of an unbridled child. “To know is nothing,” Gotelli has long maintained, “to imagine is everything.”

His rampant enthusiasm for cultivating the creative spirit and promoting fantasy to solve problems has filled his design classes and public presentations.

Now Professor Emeritus of Design at the University of California, Davis, where he taught for 35 years, Gotelli’s on-campus exuberance resulted in the UC Davis Design Museum.

His object-based exhibitions are much in demand by such purveyors as Neiman Marcus’ flagship store in Dallas and Macy’s Union Square emporium in San Francisco. Gotelli’s work has also appeared in museums throughout America. In addition, he is a popular and engaging lecturer at conventions and symposia.

Owing to his vast accomplishments and enduring body of work, Gotelli has received international media attention. As a fitting position for one so closely linked to the holiday, he was a consulting editor for the Time-Life Book of Christmas.

Gotelli lives in the foothills of Northern California and is constantly seeking to add flourish to his collections.