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The Cloisters

Museum

2 Hours

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The Cloisters is a museum in Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights, Upper Manhattan, New York City, specializing in European medieval architecture, sculpture and decorative arts, with a focus on the Romanesque and Gothic periods. Governed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it contains a large collection of medieval artworks shown in architectural settings sourced from French monasteries and abbeys. Its buildings are centered around four cloisters—the Cuxa, Saint-Guilhem, Bonnefont and Trie—which, following their acquisition by American sculptor and art dealer George Grey Barnard, were dismantled in Europe between 1934 and 1939 and relocated to New York. They became part of the Metropolitan Museum's collection when they were acquired for the museum by financier and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr.. Other major sources of objects were the collections of J. P. Morgan and Joseph Brummer. The museum's building was designed by architect Charles Collens, on a site on a steep hill, with upper and lower levels. It contains medieval gardens and series of indoor chapels and thematic display spaces, including the Romanesque, Fuentidueña, Unicorn, Spanish and Gothic rooms. It holds approximately five thousand works of art and architecture, all European and mostly dating from the Byzantine to the early Renaissance periods, namely during the 12th through 15th centuries. The varied objects include stone and wood sculptures, tapestries, illuminated manuscripts and panel paintings, of which the best known include the c. 1422 Early Netherlandish Mérode Altarpiece and the c. 1495–1505 Flemish Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries. Rockefeller purchased in 1925, and in 1931 donated, the site and housing museum in Washington Heights to the Metropolitan. The design, layout and ambiance of the building is intended to evoke a sense of medieval European monastic life. On its opening in 1938, the museum was described as a collection "shown informally in a picturesque setting, which stimulates imagination and creates a receptive mood for enjoyment".

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
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