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Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Medieval Art

The Museum's collection of medieval and Byzantine art is among the most comprehensive in the world. Displayed in both the Main Building and in the Metropolitan's branch in northern Manhattan, The Cloisters museum and gardens, the collection encompasses the art of the Mediterranean and Europe from the fall of Rome in the fourth century to the beginning of the Renaissance in the early sixteenth century. It also includes pre-medieval European works of art created during the Bronze Age and early Iron Age.

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Celebrating The Cloisters

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013

The Cloisters marks its seventy-fifth anniversary this year. Since its opening on May 14, 1938, it has become a treasured landmark, celebrated for both its extraordinary setting and its world-class collection of medieval art and architecture. Located in Fort Tryon Park, a verdant oasis on the northern tip of Manhattan, the building commands sweeping views of the Hudson River and the towering Palisades on the river's opposite bank. The quiet of the lush gardens and the magnificence of the historic architecture create an ideal setting for the outstanding collection within.

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The French Franciscan Cloister in New York

Céline Brugeat, 2011–2012 Annette Kade Fellow, Department of Medieval Art

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Cloisters incorporates significant sculptural ensembles from medieval cloisters from the south of France, traditionally identified as coming from four sites: Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Trie-en-Bigorre, and Bonnefont-en-Comminges.

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Lisbon's Hebrew Bible: An Enlightened Acquisition

Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Monday, January 9, 2012

By any standards, Lisbon's Hebrew Bible—now on view at the Met—is a masterpiece of medieval illumination. Its acquisition in 1804 by the National Library of Portugal may be credited to the enlightened intellectualism of the institution's first librarian, António Ribeiro dos Santos.

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The Washington Haggadah: Of Mice and Men

Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011

As our presentation of the Washington Haggadah enters its final month, we turn not to the end of the book but to the first page of the manuscript. In both word and image, this page proclaims the privilege of preparing for Passover.

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The Washington Haggadah: The Delights of Ornament

Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; and Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Friday, May 6, 2011

This week we turned the pages in the Washington Haggadah, which is on loan to the Museum from the Library of Congress through July 4.

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The Washington Haggadah: Participating in Passover

Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Monday, April 18, 2011

The illustrations of the Washington Haggadah, currently on loan to the Metropolitan from the Library of Congress, suggest—with a touch of humor and not a little humanity—some of the challenges inherent in following the instructions for celebrating the Passover seder.

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A Visit to The Cloisters

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO

Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2010

John D. Rockefeller Jr. once said, "I can think of nothing so unpleasant as a life devoted to pleasure." How extraordinary, then, that he would create perhaps the most idyllic retreat on the island of Manhattan: The Cloisters Museum and Gardens in Fort Tryon Park.

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Today in Met History: June 12

James Moske, Managing Archivist, Museum Archives

Posted: Saturday, June 12, 2010

Eighty-five years ago today, on June 12, 1925, The Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased a collection of medieval sculpture and architectural fragments from George Grey Barnard (1863–1938), a prominent American sculptor and collector. This acquisition formed the nucleus of what would become The Cloisters, the branch of the Museum located in Northern Manhattan and devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe.

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Medieval Blogging

Wendy Stein, Research Associate, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters

Posted: Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We are just a little over a month into the run of The Art of Illumination—the exhibition with the impossibly long subtitle: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry. Come see it if you haven't already—or if you have, but couldn't get a turn with one of the magnifying glasses we have provided, come back to see the astounding detail in these magical little pictures.

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Now at the Met offers in-depth articles and multimedia features about the Museum's current exhibitions, events, research, announcements, behind-the-scenes activities, and more.