It felt like we were going back in time as we approached the Cloisters … and indeed we were, since the entire building was built from parts of five medieval European abbeys that were disassembled and sent to NY brick-by-brick ! I can’t even envision what an enormous task that must have been.
They were impressive, as was everything that we saw, but I have to admit that I was more enthralled with the architecture of the buildings than with the medieval collections which were, as you would expect, rather dark and heavy.
Evidently it didn’t faze John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who created an endowment grant that made the project a reality. He also donated the entire collection of medieval art that he had purchased from the American sculptor George Grey and then turned it all over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Met was featuring the Unicorn Tapestries when we were there so that was the first thing that we saw as we entered:
By noontime we were happily tired and thoroughly enjoyed a luncheon overlooking these lovely inside gardens…
…and then, on our way out, we were surprised and delighted to enter a room that displayed some light-hearted depictions of Jesus…
Here he is sculpted in wood on his trusted donkey & adhered to a rolling cart. It would be brought out for parades during religious festivals …
…and then my all-time favorite baby Jesus:
Have you ever seen anything sweeter? I think he snuck in when noone was looking.
I hope I haven’t disappointed those of you who were looking forward to a more detailed tour of the exhibits but the medieval art and artifacts kind of left me cold. However, if you get to Manhattan The Cloisters and the gardens within and without provide a restful respite from the hectic pace of the city and are definitely worth the trip.