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The Cloisters

2 Hours

Estimated Time

Place Type

Museum

Phone

+1 212-923-3700

Website

http://www.metmuseum.org/visit/visit-the-cloisters

Opening hours

  • Sunday 10:00 - 16:45
  • Monday 10:00 - 16:45
  • Tuesday 10:00 - 16:45
  • Wednesday 10:00 - 16:45
  • Thursday 10:00 - 16:45
  • Friday 10:00 - 16:45
  • Saturday 10:00 - 16:45

Description

The Cloisters is a museum in Upper Manhattan, New York City specializing in European medieval architecture, sculpture, and decorative arts. Part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, its early collection was built by the American sculptor and art dealer George Grey Barnard, and acquired by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1925. Rockefeller extended the collection and in 1931 purchased the site at Washington Heights as a permanent home for the art works. The Cloister's architectural features are largely from the Romanesque and Gothic periods. The building centers on four cloisters —the Cuxa, Bonnefont, Trie, and Saint-Guilhem cloisters— sourced from French monasteries and abbeys. They were excavated from Europe and between 1934 and 1939 reconstructed in the four-acre site in Washington Heights. The project was overseen by the architect Charles Collens. The building further contains early medieval gardens, and a series of indoor chapels and thematic spaces, including the Romanesque, Fuentidueña, Unicorn, Spanish and Gothic rooms. The design, layout, and ambiance of the building is intended to evoke a sense of the Medieval European monastic life through its architecture. The museum contains approximately five thousand medieval works of art from the Mediterranean and Europe, mostly from the 12th to 15th centuries—that is, from the Byzantine to the early Renaissance periods—but also works dating from the bronze and early iron ages.