Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park, New York, New York

After an absence of over ten years, Susan, Rob and I decided to take a trip out to the Cloisters Museum in New York.   They explained that there were several changes and several exhibits that were formerly closed were now open.

The museum, which is actually part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, contains a mixture of art and architecture from medieval Europe. The galleries are all in chronological order and covers periods from AD 1000 to 1150 and 1200 (the Romanesque period) and continuing with 1150 into the 1520's (Gothic period).

The Cloisters was created by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and first opened in 1938. Many of the exhibits and galleries were made possible by the acquisition of the George Gray Barnard collection, an American sculptor.  Many of these medieval sculptures and artworks that Mr. Barnard purchased were part of properties from French farmers and local magistrates that had been abandoned after the French Revolution.   The exhibits and galleries grew and expanded into what you see here today which include paintings, sculptures, tapestries, ceramics, enamels, stained glass and metalwork.

Here I am in the Cuxa Cloister from a Benedictine monastery, Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa from Twelfth century France. We then made our way over to the  Fuentiduena Chapel, which had always been closed off when Susan and Rob visited there.  Rob's favorite room is the twelfth century Chapter House from a Benedictine abbey from Gascony.  We have lots of pics and I will put up as many as I can.

Fuentiduena Chapel

Housed here are also the famous Unicorn Tapestries which depicts the hunt and eventual capture of the mythical unicorn.  According to the brochure, it was woven in Brussels around 1500.

The Unicorn in Captivity, part of the Unicorn Tapestries

There is much to see and do here and it is open any time of the year. Hours vary from season to season and is closed on Mondays, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  As The Cloisters is part of the Met, you can also visit that museum after your visit here.  The entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art is located on 82nd Street on Fifth Avenue. If you've never been (or have and want to check out newer exhibits), then this would be a great time to see both museums for the price of one.

Both museums are easy accessible by car, bus or subway and are worth the trip.

The Saint-Guilhem Cloister

The Bonnefont Cloister which contains a herb garden
The Trie Cloister, which is now a cafe
The Chapter House, Rob's favorite part of the museum

Here is the official site link to The Cloisters which should explain more about the exhibits and about the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It's a very informative site and also includes the floor plan to the Cloisters.

Beautiful view of the Palisades and Hudson River from the West Terrace

1 comment:

  1. Another great find, Clyde!! Looks like an awesome place to tour!