The Met Cloisters

The Met Cloisters The Met Cloisters, located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park, is the branch of the Museum dedicated to the art, architecture, & gardens of medieval Europe.
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The Met Cloisters, located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park, is the branch of the Museum dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe. Deriving its name from the medieval cloisters that form the core of the building, it presents a harmonious and evocative setting for more than 2,000 exceptional artworks and architectural elements from the medieval West.

The Met Cloisters, located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park, is the branch of the Museum dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe. Deriving its name from the medieval cloisters that form the core of the building, it presents a harmonious and evocative setting for more than 2,000 exceptional artworks and architectural elements from the medieval West.

Operating as usual

Tearing your hair out this week? Contemplating pulling the hair of another? Don't do it! Explore a work of art instead! ...
11/05/2020

Tearing your hair out this week? Contemplating pulling the hair of another? Don't do it! Explore a work of art instead!

This carved stone corbel, which once supported the overhanging roof of a French church, shows interlocking figures of different sizes pulling each other's long hair and beards. Hair- and beard-pullers were popular subjects of medieval art. Though their significance is not always clear today, as with many examples of medieval body language, the gesture may allude to an inner state of being - in this case, emotional turmoil or spiritual anguish.

Corbel with Five Interlaced Hair-Pulling Acrobats, France, ca. 1150–1200. Limestone. 34.21.2. #MetCloisters #MetAnywhere #MedievalArt #Sculpture #Beards #France

[image description: A stone block is carved with one larger central figure flanked by four smaller figures, two on each side. The figures pull long strands of each other's hair as well as the long beard of the largest figure. Slide 2 is a close up of the figures.]

Boo! This spoooky image of an ultraviolet (UV) examination and photography of Christ Child with an Apple is our Hallowee...
10/30/2020

Boo! This spoooky image of an ultraviolet (UV) examination and photography of Christ Child with an Apple is our Halloween treat. Did you ever receive the dreaded apple instead of candy when you trick-or-treated as a child?

This sculpture of the Christ Child in #TheMetCloisters collection is in remarkable condition, retaining most of its original polychromy (fig. 2 and 3). Ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence is commonly used to detect restorations on painted surfaces. Inconsistencies in application of materials, from original paint layers to recently applied adhesives or paint, can be visually distinguished by their different reactions to the radiation. Here, the restored areas of the sculpture --narrow vertical streaks caused by paint loss around cracks, have absorbed the radiation. They appear darker than the aged original lead-based flesh tones, which fluoresce a bluish white.

Circle of Michel Erhart (German, Ulm, active 1464–1522). Christ Child with an Apple, ca. 1470–80. Willow with original paint and traces of gold. 2012.449. #MetAnywhere #HappyHalloween #ArtConservation #TrickOrTreat

[image descriptions: Slide 1 is an eerily dark photo of a painted wooden sculpture of the Christ Child. His skin appears white and blue and the cracks in the paint are almost black. He is nude and holds an apple in his right hand. The subsequent slide shows the figure as he appears in our galleries, with his ruddy cheeks, round belly, curly hair and pale complexion. The cracks visible in the UV photograph are no longer readily apparent. Slide 3 is a close up of the red and yellow apple he holds.]

Shaped like a miniature chapel, this incredibly rare reliquary shrine is one of the jewels of #TheMetCloisters. On Octob...
10/29/2020

Shaped like a miniature chapel, this incredibly rare reliquary shrine is one of the jewels of #TheMetCloisters. On October 30, 1940, eighty years ago this week, the Nazi regime began the systematic plunder of thousands of artworks from Jewish families in France. Hermann Göring, a leading Nazi official during World War II, stole this reliquary from the Paris residence of Edmond de Rothschild for his private collection filled with artworks he unlawfully seized. Thankfully, “monuments men,” dispatched by the U.S. and British governments for the first time in the history of warfare to restitute works of art to their rightful owners, located the shrine at the war’s end and returned it to Edmond de Rothschild’s heirs on June 3, 1948. Come see it in the @metmuseum 150th anniversary exhibition, “Making The Met,” through January 3, 2021 alongside other works in the Museum’s collection associated with World War II.

Attributed to Jean de Touyl (French, died 1349/50). Reliquary Shrine, ca. 1325–50. Gilded silver, translucent enamel, paint. 62.96. #MetAnywhere #MakingTheMet #Met150 #MedievalArt #WWII

[image descriptions: Slides 1 and 2 are studio photographs of the reliquary front and back, respectively. It sits against a soft gray backdrop with the wings open to show the interior of the chapel. The Virgin and Child are accompanied by angels in the central "building" with gilded arches, vaults, and other architectural elements. The wings are of translucent enamel, depicting Mary's life and the Infancy of Christ and evoking stained glass. Slides 3 and 4 show the reliquary, along with other objects, installed in Making The Met.]

Tune in Saturday, October 24th at 10 am Eastern to learn about behind-the-scenes activities that close out our growing s...
10/23/2020

Tune in Saturday, October 24th at 10 am Eastern to learn about behind-the-scenes activities that close out our growing season and pave the way for next year's bounty and display. Horticultural staff will walk us through the importance of the harvest season, bulb planting and propagation for spring, and the time-intensive holiday decorations they create and display in our galleries at the close of the calendar year.

Above: Delicious and bountiful during the fall harvest, grapes like the ones grown in our courtyard were transformed into wine, an important beverage in the Middle Ages which was regularly consumed and enjoyed.

Check our link in bio to visit the event page for more information and direct links to YouTube and Facebook. #Horticulture #MedievalGardening #Harvest #Holidays

[image description: A photo of the concord grapes growing at The Met Cloisters. These pale green grapes hang in full bunches from twisting vines with broad, dark green leaves, against the stone of the Museum facade.]

#TheMetCloisters is proud to announce the completion of a book on The Conservation of Medieval Polychrome Wood Sculpture...
10/16/2020

#TheMetCloisters is proud to announce the completion of a book on The Conservation of Medieval Polychrome Wood Sculpture. With this publication, Met conservator Lucretia Kargère and professor Michele Marincola from the @nyuifa Conservation Center (and former @metobjectsconservation staff member) fill a gap in the conservation literature, which has no comprehensive English-language reference. A real challenge in creating this publication was distilling an enormous body of literature, mostly in four languages, on the materials and methods of medieval polychrome wood sculptures, and their treatment. The authors conducted research and interviews with conservators in America and Europe and incorporated their own experience at The Met Cloisters in examining and conserving polychrome wood sculpture. Rather than being a recipe book, the volume provides access to the decision-making processes, the history of care, the scientific rational, and the types of materials and treatments that might be appropriate today. Many images from The Cloisters Collection are included, and four case studies illustrate key moments in a sculpture’s treatment history reconsidered in the light of current practices.

Those interested may find the book at the Getty store website. #Polychrome #WoodSculpture #ObjectConservation

Tilman Riemenschneider (German, 1460–1531). Seated Bishop, ca. 1495. Limewood and gray-black stain. 1970.137.1.

Enthroned Virgin and Child, France, ca. 1130–1140. Birch with paint and glass. 47.101.15.

[image descriptions: Slide 1, the cover of The Conservation of Medieval Polychrome Wood featuring The Visitation from the Medieval Department collection at The Met, a painted and gilded wood sculpture of Mary and Elizabeth that was highlighted in a collections post just last week. Slide 2, the Seated Bishop from The Cloisters Collection during treatment circa 1970, halfway through the removal of a more modern coat of paint. Slides 3 and 4, detail of Mary's face from The Enthroned Virgin and Child, another piece from The Cloisters Collection, before and after treatment respectively. Treatment included compensation of crack and remodeling of proper left eye.]

The top of this block of limestone was transformed into a four-sided capital in southern Italy by a skilled stone carver...
10/15/2020

The top of this block of limestone was transformed into a four-sided capital in southern Italy by a skilled stone carver working in the first part of the 13th century. Its sides evoke an era in which different cultures mingled together in trade, travel, and conflict. In 863 a monk named Theodosius wrote of the grandeur of Palermo, describing it as “full of citizens and strangers. . . . Blended with the Sicilians the Greeks, the Lombards and the Jews, there are Arabs, Berbers, Persians, Tartars, Africans, some wrapped in long robes and turbans . . . faces oval, square, or round, of every complexion and profile, beards and hair of every variety of color and cut.” The four heads emerging from acanthus leaves to form the corners of this capital attest to Theodosius’ comments. The heads are close in style to other examples by Apulian sculptors working for the court of Frederick II Hohenstaufen. #MetAnywhere #TheMetCloisters #MedievalSculpture #GlobalMiddleAges

Capital with Four Heads, Italy, ca. 1225-50. Limestone. 55.66.

[image descriptions: Five photos show the capital, the top portion of a column, at various angles. We start with the top of the limestone capital, bare except for a groove that sections off one quarter of the square plane. The subsequent photos of the the four subjects carved into the corners of this capital show a diversity of features, ages, and dress.]

The meeting of two women, their torsos fitted with rock-crystal cabochons, is the central subject of a profoundly moving...
10/08/2020

The meeting of two women, their torsos fitted with rock-crystal cabochons, is the central subject of a profoundly moving devotional statue. The sculpture was originally made for a community of women at the Convent of Saint Katharinenthal, Lake Constance. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist and cousin to Mary, meets Mary, mother of Jesus, and they share the news of their pregnancy. Mary tenderly places her hand on Elizabeth’s shoulder, while Elizabeth, touching her chest, exclaims, “Who am I, that the mother of the Lord should visit me?” (Luke 1:43). The text of Elizabeth’s statement adorns the hem that unfurls over her left shoulder. #MetAnywhere #visitation #women #cousins #MedievalArt #MedievalSculpture #polychrome #wood #meeting #pregnancy

Attributed to Master Heinrich of Constance (German, active in Constance, ca. 1300), ca. 1310–20. The Visitation. Walnut, paint, gilding, rock-crystal cabochons inset in gilt-silver mounts. 17.190.724.

[image descriptions: Two figures, carved from wood, stand at a little over 23 inches high. They are dressed in flowing, gilded robes, their hair covered by draping, ivory scarves, all with painted and gilded geometric patterns at the hems. Large, rock-crystal cabochons (polished and rounded gems with a flat back, as opposed to faceted gems) adorn each of their torsos. Mary and Elizabeth look at each other with kindly expressions and smiling eyes. Their faces are painted in soft pinks. Slides 1 and 2 show the full-length of the figures from front and back, slides 3 and 4 are close-ups of the women's faces, and slide 5 is a detail of the hem of Elizabeth's garment draped across her chest and shoulder with the text of her exclamation.]

During the Middle Ages, did artists of different media share ideas about technique, composition, and style? This certain...
10/01/2020

During the Middle Ages, did artists of different media share ideas about technique, composition, and style? This certainly seems to have been the case in 10th-century Spain. Take, for example, this stone capital and ivory pyxis, or cylindrical box. Although made of different materials, these objects have a lot in common. Both date to ca. 950 CE and both were produced in Córdoba under the royal patronage of Abd al-Rahman III, the Umayyad caliph of al-Andalus. Each surface is decorated with small flowers and climbing, scrolling vines terminating in unfurling leaves. By deeply drilling the stone and carefully carving the ivory, the artists play with contrast, shadow, and positive and negative space. Such lace-like surfaces proved to be a ‘trend’ of 10th-century Córdoba. This fashionable ornamentation can even be found in the architecture of the Great Mosque of Córdoba, where Abd al-Rahman III would have attended Friday prayers.
#MetAnywhere #MuseumfromHome #alAndalus #Córdoba #TheMetCloisters

Capital, ca. 960, Cordoba, Andalusia, Spain. Stone. 25.120.508.

Pyxis, ca. 950–75, Cordoba, Andalusia, Spain. Elephant ivory. 1970.324.5.

[image descriptions: The first slide is a studio photo of a beige, carved-stone capital, or topmost portion of a column. The second slide is a studio photo of a pyxis, an often cylindrical box with a lid used to store toiletries, carved of elephant ivory. These objects share stylistic similarities as described above.]

Many of you know us for our gardens and hopefully you’ve heard about one of our newer acquisitions, the Book of Flower S...
09/24/2020

Many of you know us for our gardens and hopefully you’ve heard about one of our newer acquisitions, the Book of Flower Studies (swipe to see one of the paintings in the book). One of our younger visitors was inspired by both and we were lucky enough to see his #MetSketch!

Max even shared his insight, “There was a book at The Cloisters that inspired me - each page had flowers and insects and it was beautiful.” We agree, it’s a beautiful book and we enjoy flowers and insects too (though we ask that the insects stay in the gardens 🐛).

Now that the Museum has reopened, we hope you are able to join us before the season is over. Come enjoy our three gardens and the Book of Flower Studies, on view in the Unicorn Tapestries Gallery. Plan your visit at our link in bio and remember to tag us if you create your own #MetSketch! #TheMetCloisters #MedievalGardens #Flowers #NatureStudies

Master of Claude de France, French. Book of Flower Studies, ca. 1510-1515. Opaque watercolor, organic glazes, gold and silver paint, iron and carbon-based ink and charcoal on parchment. 2019.197.

[image descriptions: Slide 1 is a photograph of a page from a wide-rule notebook with writing in pencil at the top and a vibrant colored pencil drawing of red flowers and insects on the lower half. The writing reads, “List of [flowers] 1. mums 2. garlick 3. apple tree,” and “2020 incect gardin, max Sept 18.” Slide 2 is a folio from the Book of Flower Studies. A watercolor painting of a red corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas) with a brown fly sitting on the blue-green leaves of the plant fills the parchment page.]

“I ring for breakfast, dinner, and drinks.” The inscription on this unassuming bronze bell proclaims its purpose: assemb...
09/18/2020

“I ring for breakfast, dinner, and drinks.” The inscription on this unassuming bronze bell proclaims its purpose: assembling the community of a monastery for meals and refreshments. Smaller than the taller and more familiar church bell, this rare refectory bell evokes the sounds of life in the medieval cloister. If you flip the bell over (swipe through), you’ll note the absence of a clapper. It makes a beautiful, almost cheerful tone when struck with a mallet, ringing clearly and loudly before fading away. May it bring you together for whatever meals and drinks you might be planning, and may it strike a tone for essential workers. We’ve rung it before and will have the chance to ring it again, now that the Museum has reopened!

Refectory Bell, 13th century, German. Copper alloy. 2014.87. #MetAnywhere #TheMetCloisters #drinks #dinnertime #monastery #FridayNight #MakeSomeNoise

[image descriptions: An aged, copper bell with a shallow bowl is decorated with four roundels and ringed in a Latin inscription. The roundels are worn, sitting near the crown of the bell, and depict two angels, a winged lion, and the Lamb of God. The final photograph shows the interior of the bell, which is smooth and has no clapper.]

Happy #reopening day! The #MetCloisters is now open to the public and we are excited to welcome everyone back to our gal...
09/12/2020

Happy #reopening day! The #MetCloisters is now open to the public and we are excited to welcome everyone back to our galleries and gardens!

Swipe through for photos from our members days Thursday and Friday this week for a look at how we are following safety guidelines and protecting our staff and visitors. All are required to wear masks while in the galleries and gardens, follow a predetermined route through galleries to maintain social distancing, and reserve timed entry slots to keep the Museum at 25% capacity or below. Visit our link in bio for more information on these guidelines and to reserve your timed tickets.

Thank you to our community for your support and excitement. We look forward to seeing you again soon! #WelcomeBack

Photos 1-5 by Paula Lobo.

[image descriptions: Various views of our galleries and gardens, with visitors and staff wearing masks as they join us for The Met Cloisters' members reopening. In order we have: Visitor Experience staff welcoming members at the Admissions desk in the Main Hall with newly installed plexi barriers. Two members pose for a photo on the stairs into the Museum. A view of the Judy Black Garden in Cuxa Cloister with a sign calling for social distancing visible in the foreground. Another view of the Judy Black Garden with two members enjoying the vibrant flowers and greenery as they stand near the central fountain. A visitor stands in the Unicorn Tapestries Gallery, between The Unicorn in Captivity and The Unicorn Purifies Water near our narwhal tusk. Visitors enjoy various art objects in our Glass Gallery while one of our guards keeps his post nearby. A parent and two children stand silhouetted in Langon Chapel as they point and examine the architecture of the gallery.]

The Met Cloisters’ doors are opening again! Get ready to cross the threshold into the Middle Ages on September 12.  Did ...
09/10/2020

The Met Cloisters’ doors are opening again! Get ready to cross the threshold into the Middle Ages on September 12.

Did you know that most of the doorways connecting Cloisters galleries were made during the Middle Ages? That’s right – you can pass through stone portals carved hundreds of years ago! When the museum was built in the 1930s, many fragments of medieval architecture were incorporated into the modern building fabric.

Your visit to The Met Cloisters follows a chronological path traversing each of these portals through time. But don’t just walk through them! Be sure to take a close look at their many finely carved details and intricate metalwork fittings.

Visit our link in bio for more information on our new open hours and days, safety guidelines, and how to reserve a time for your visit. As always, the health and safety of our visitors remains our top priority. See you soon!

Doorway from the Abbey of Notre-Dame at Nevers, France, 13th century. Limestone. 54.164.87.
Doorway from Saint-Sulpice at Coulangé, France, mid-12th century. Limestone. 25.120.878.
Doorway from Notre-Dame at Reugny, Loire Valley, France, late 12th century. Limestone. 34.120.1–.120.
Arch with Beasts, from Languedoc-Rousillon, France, ca. 1150-75. Marble. 22.58.1a.
Pair of Doors with Ironwork, made in France or Spain, 12th century. Oak and iron. 25.120.291, .292.
Doorway from Moutiers-Saint-Jean, Burgundy, France, ca. 1250. White oolitic limestone with traces of paint. 32.147.
Doorway, from Gascony, France, 15th-16th century. Limestone. 35.35.14.
Doorway, from Poitou, France, ca. 1520-30. Limestone. 40.147.3.
Unicorn Doorway, from Auvergne, France, early 16th century. Volcanic stone. 48.28.

[Image description: Nine photographs of carved stone doorways with different decorative details, including flowers, animals, and figures.]

#TheMetCloisters #MedievalArt #romanesque #gothic #portals #MedievalSculpture

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Comments

Hi. Does my Culture Pass NYC allow free entry to The Met Cloisters? I know it does to the Met and one pass is good for two. Same at the Cloisters?
leave the city (ny) and find refuge here. wonder!
A peaceful oasis in upper Manhattan. Make sure you see the Anglo Saxon cross of Edward the Confessor, the 'Cloisters Cross'.
I finally visited today since I had free time in NYC on this trip. By doing so, I discovered the best place in the U.S., bar none. Words are inadequate.
HELLO people à USA. i'm a french writer and my next roman is beginning in the cloisters museums. I need details of each cloisters and their arts. Please, have you photographs for me? I Have never been in New-York and I don't want to say stupidities and wrong descriptions. my mail is [email protected] or on my page facebook. THANKS of all my heart
I love the Cloisters: The tapestries and the original archways. The Rockefellers knew how to do it; they also purchased the land opposite the Hudson River to preserve the look of Medieval Europe. Amazing place--and also the largest Medieval Museum in the US. Jim
You were very lucky to tour this beautiful place!
I wish you gave more details on the content of the upcoming talks
One of my favorite museums in New York! I think you are a hidden gem :) I included The Cloisters on my travel blog recently, check it out!