Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Cloisters … let’s go inside !

 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.

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:                    
 
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.

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.

 

10 Comments:

Blogger Anvilcloud said...

That was just enough. :)

6:35 PM  
Blogger possum said...

I am with you, medieval art leaves me cold... medieval anything leaves me cold, truth be told. But that garden was a nice view. At least you were doing something educational, broadening your horizons, beats the heck out of sitting and watching TV, right?

3:56 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

When you think how young our country is, I am always impressed with things that go back hundreds of years.

7:05 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

I have not ever been overly fond of medieval art either, but the architecture would really appeal to me. One of the guys who washed our windows today had just graduated from NCSU in the architecture program. He can't find a job, poor guy.

3:32 PM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

I have heard so much about The Cloisters and would love to go there. Thanks for the grand photographs.

7:46 AM  
OpenID Big John said...

It looks lovely. I'm sure that this place has featured in movies and TV 'cop' shows.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Thank God for wealthy eccentric people who see that unique spots in our cities are more than just developers concrete and steel. This spot are no priceless additions to the urban landscape.

10:44 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

Most interesting. I find the idea of reassembling the cloisters a big more intriguing that the London Bridge now in Arizona. :)

12:04 PM  
OpenID schmidleysscribblins.com said...

The Cloisters is one of my favorite places in NYC. We are planning a visit to the Bishops Garden at the National Cathedral later this month. You may know that some of the sculpture in that garden came from Europe.

PS Which lens (near or far) did you have inserted in your eyes.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

Great photos. The medieval times were not the best in humanity--so much killing in the name of religion. But that still goes on today!

4:46 AM  

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