99 Margaret Corbin Dr.
New York, NY 10040
Despite living in New York for pretty much my entire life, I seem to have missed the memo on The Cloisters museum. I recently went with my Aunt who studied Medieval history while in college and in grad school. She is incredibly intelligent and when it comes to Medieval history, she’s my go to girl. So, I asked if she would accompany me to the museum so I wasn’t walking around with a chicken with its head cutoff.
One of the first things you’ll notice when approaching the museum is the stunning architecture of the building itself. This is one of the things that makes The Cloisters so unique. The museum is not simply about what’s inside the structure, but about the structure itself. The structure is built using inspiration from Medieval European architecture and certain parts of the structure and the museum were dismantled in Europe and brought to the United States with a generous donation by John D. Rockefeller Jr.
Once Inside, you can begin your journey in many different rooms, but the Fuentidueña Chapel is filled with rich history and historic pieces that was brought directly from the church of San Martín in Fuentidueña, Spain. This room is stunning, but it might take few laps through it to see all the detail. The walls are filled with stunning portrayals of biblical stories carved into the stone. While not of us are religions, this is still something special. Much of Medieval culture was based in religion and the Cloisters shows the ways in which it influenced everyday life back in the 12th century.
The Cloisters exhibit centers around cloisters that were brought over from Europe and give us an idea of what it would have been like for nuns during that time-period. The intricacies and attention to detail that are displayed throughout the museum allow us to understand that people during Medieval times relied heavily on visual images and art for storytelling. The museum is also home to magnificent gardens reflective of the plants, herbs, and flowers that were used in the Medieval era.
The Cloisters is an exhibit that should not be missed and is worth the trip up to Fort Tryon Park. Often over shadowed by its sister location The Met on the Upper East Side, The Cloisters holds its own and offers a unique insight into a world none of us have ever experienced before. Definitely check it out and take your time exploring all the small details of the architecture and the art. You can prepare for your visit by dowloading this map.
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