Pilgrimage

Objects conservation administrator Ashira Loike delineates the power of pilgrimage, both personal and communal.

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You're wrapped up with tons of people, pushing and shoving, excited, exuberant, everyone going together for this experience.

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  • Ashira Loike
    1280852
  • Christ's Entry into Jerusalem  |  15th century  |  Anonymous (German)  |  Metalcut, hand-colored in green, yellow and red  |  Gift of Felix M. Warburg and his family, 1941 (41.1.179)
    7551024
  • Fisherman  |  Yuan dynasty, ca. 1350  |  Wu Zhen (Chinese)  |  Handscroll; ink on paper  |  Inscribed by the artist  |  Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988 (1989.363.33)
    1280693
  • Procession of Objects from the Tomb to the House  |  evening of March 19, 1920  |  Harry Burton (English)  |  The Egyptian Expedition of The Metropolitan Museum of Art  |  Gelatin silver print   |  (53.143)
    1280942
  • Memory Rendering of the Man on the Moon  |  1990  |  Vik Muniz (Brazilian)  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Purchase, Anonymous Gift, 1995 (1995.323.1)  |  © Vik Muniz
    7221024
  • Coney Island  |  1940, printed ca. 1983  |  Weegee (American, born Hungary); Printed by Sid Kaplan  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Gift of Aaron and Jessica Rose, 1983 (1983.1130.8)  |  © Weegee / International Center of Photography
    1280991
  • Coney Island  |  1940, printed ca. 1983  |  Weegee (American, born Hungary); Printed by Sid Kaplan  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Gift of Aaron and Jessica Rose, 1983 (1983.1130.8)  |  © Weegee / International Center of Photography
    1280797
  • Coney Island  |  1940, printed ca. 1983  |  Weegee (American, born Hungary); Printed by Sid Kaplan  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Gift of Aaron and Jessica Rose, 1983 (1983.1130.8)  |  © Weegee / International Center of Photography
    9081024
  • jpeg ny02  |  2004  |  Thomas Ruff (German, born 1958)  |  Chromogenic print  |  Purchase, Denise and Andrew Saul Gift; Marlene Nathan Meyerson Gift, in memory of Andrew H. Golkin; Pamela and Arthur Sanders and The Robert A. and Renée E. Belfer Family Foundation Gifts; Neil C. S. Hirsch Gift; and Marian and James H. Cohen Gift, in memory of their son, Michael Harrison Cohen, 2006 (2006.92)
    1280917
  • jpeg ny02  |  2004  |  Thomas Ruff (German, born 1958)  |  Chromogenic print  |  Purchase, Denise and Andrew Saul Gift; Marlene Nathan Meyerson Gift, in memory of Andrew H. Golkin; Pamela and Arthur Sanders and The Robert A. and Renée E. Belfer Family Foundation Gifts; Neil C. S. Hirsch Gift; and Marian and James H. Cohen Gift, in memory of their son, Michael Harrison Cohen, 2006 (2006.92)
    9361024
  • Benediction of the Pope on Easter Sunday  |  1880s  |  Unknown Artist (Italian)  |  Albumen silver print from glass negative  |  The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1960 (60.611.31)
    1280978
  • Prayer in the Mosque  |  1871  |  Jean-Léon Gérôme (French)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Signed (upper right, on beam): J.L. GEROME  |  Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887 (87.15.130)
    8511024
  • Leaf from Futuh al-Haramain (Description of the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina)  |  mid-16th century; Ottoman  |  Probably Turkey  |  Ink, colors, and gold on paper  |  Rogers Fund, 1932 (32.131)
    6301024
  • Leaf from Futuh al-Haramain (Description of the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina)  |  mid-16th century; Ottoman  |  Probably Turkey  |  Ink, colors, and gold on paper  |  Rogers Fund, 1932 (32.131)
    6381024
  • Pilgrim's Badge Depicting the Shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral  |  ca. 1400  |  English  |  Pewter  |  Gift of Dr. and Mrs. W. Conte, 2001 (2001.310)
    9041024
  • Earthenware Pilgrim Flask with Saint Menas  |  610–650  |  Byzantine  |  Earthenware  |  Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.194.2291)
    8811024
  • Mihrab  |  1354  |  Isfahan, Iran  |  Mosaic of monochrome-glaze tiles on composite body set on plaster  |  Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1939 (39.20)
    6891024
  • Mihrab  |  1354  |  Isfahan, Iran  |  Mosaic of monochrome-glaze tiles on composite body set on plaster  |  Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1939 (39.20)
    1280796
  • Mihrab  |  1354  |  Isfahan, Iran  |  Mosaic of monochrome-glaze tiles on composite body set on plaster  |  Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1939 (39.20)
    5401024
  • Jerusalem from the Environs  |  possibly 1881  |  Charles-Théodore Frère (French)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887 (87.15.106)
    1280851
  • Jerusalem (#2)  |  1990–92  |  Patrick Faigenbaum (French)  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1994 (1994.117)  |  © Patrick Faigenbaum
    9651024
  • Hills III  |  1986  |  Avner Moriah (Israeli)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Purchase, Sidney E. Cohn Gift, 1987 (1987.205.1)
    12801004
  • From Jerusalem  |  1905–6  |  John Singer Sargent (American)  |  Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on off-white wove paper  |  Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond, 1950 (50.130.45)
    1280854
  • A Theater Audience  |  19th century  |  Honoré Daumier (French)  |  Pen and black ink, gouache, and watercolor over black chalk  |  Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971 (1972.118.203)
    8941024
  • Mary Cassatt at the Louvre: The Etruscan Gallery  |  1879–80  |  Edgar Degas (French)  |  Softground etching, drypoint, aquatint, and etching, third state of nine  |  Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.29.2)
    8941024
  • Study for A Sunday on La Grande Jatte  |  1884  |  Georges Seurat (French)  |  Oil on canvas  |  27 3/4 x 41 in. (70.5 x 104.1 cm)  |  Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951 (51.112.6)
    1280869
  • Ashira Loike
    1280852
  • My name is Ashira Loike. I work in objects conservation, and I'm going to be talking about "Pilgrimage."

  • What I find exciting about pilgrimage is it's not monolithic, it's not one thing. It's not

  • just this religious experience. It could also be a personal experience

  • or a communal activity. It could be a commemorative act.

  • Pilgrimage is tied up with memory. My first pilgrimage memory are trips to my grandparents in

  • Coney Island growing up. Part of the experience was going down to the beach. And the beach was crowded, and there were a lot of bodies and there was pushing and it was sweaty.

  • And so whenever I think back, I think of the overwhelming sensorial experience of

  • being on a crowded beach on a summer's day. That's how I get into pilgrimage.

  • People make pilgrimages to reconcile themselves with something difficult, like 9/11. I was in Brooklyn when it happened and I have this image burned in my mind of smoke coming up. It's this hazy memory

  • that I'm not willing to fully access. I try to grapple with 9/11 by taking these communal pilgrimages into a neutral image of the site, so I could cope with the tragedy in my mind.

  • Pilgrimage could also be a very positive thing. When I was traveling in Italy with my friends, we found ourselves in Saint Peter's Square on Pentecost, and the pope was about to give his speech. We were just awed by the sheer number of people in Saint Peter's Square,

  • this anonymous mass coming together to have this larger-than-life religious experience.

  • When I go on vacation I would like a guidebook to tell me what I'm supposed to see. Pilgrims have the same approach with manuscripts

  • with diagrams, and prayers, and lists of things to do, laying out the experience.

  • You have medieval pilgrims who have badges. Think today of all these cheesy trinkets that you bring back.

  • People sell them 'cause people buy them. The impulse to have something that was at that site with you is very relatable. You don't

  • have to go on a pilgrimage to be pilgrimage-oriented. Mihrabs in mosques, they're oriented towards Mecca.

  • The prayers, the lore and the stories, the momentous religious events that are recounted,oriented towards a place that you might never see.

  • Sacred geography becomes this built-up composite of a lot of expectations and anticipation. Whenever I think about pilgrimage, I think of Jerusalem.

  • I lived there, my sister and the family live there, I have friends who live there, and I find myself going back again and again.

  • When I'd lived in Jerusalem I'd gone a number of times, on major holidays, to the Western Wall, where the Jewish Temple once stood. And there you're wrapped up with tons of people, pushing and shoving, excited, exuberant, everyone going together for this experience.

  • But when I think of Jerusalem, I think of walking through Jerusalem. I think of

  • climbing the hills, and getting to the hilltop, and just looking out.

  • It's also interesting to think of why people come to see art. Someone else talking about

  • these same experiences might not even call it pilgrimage. A pilgrimage can be whatever you associate meaning to

  • whatever you place value on. Certain places take on an extra meaning, and I think that's

  • empowering and exciting.

  • 41.1.179
    Christ's Entry into Jerusalem, 15th century, Anonymous (German), Metalcut, hand-colored in green, yellow and red Gift of Felix M. Warburg and his family, 1941 (41.1.179)
  • 1989.363.33
    Fisherman, Yuan dynasty, ca. 1350, Wu Zhen (Chinese), Handscroll; ink on paper, Inscribed by the artist Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988 (1989.363.33)
  • MC39
    Procession of Objects from the Tomb to the House, evening of March 19, 1920, Harry Burton (English), The Egyptian Expedition of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gelatin silver print (53.143)
  • 1995.323.1
    Memory Rendering of the Man on the Moon, 1990, Vik Muniz (Brazilian), Gelatin silver print Purchase, Anonymous Gift, 1995 (1995.323.1) © Vik Muniz
  • 1983.1130.8
    Coney Island, 1940, printed ca. 1983, Weegee (American, born Hungary); Printed by Sid Kaplan, Gelatin silver print Gift of Aaron and Jessica Rose, 1983 (1983.1130.8) © Weegee / International Center of Photography
  • 2006.92
    jpeg ny02, 2004, Thomas Ruff (German, born 1958), Chromogenic print Purchase, Denise and Andrew Saul Gift; Marlene Nathan Meyerson Gift, in memory of Andrew H. Golkin; Pamela and Arthur Sanders and The Robert A. and Renée E. Belfer Family Foundation Gifts; Neil C. S. Hirsch Gift; and Marian and James H. Cohen Gift, in memory of their son, Michael Harrison Cohen, 2006 (2006.92)
  • 60.611.31
    Benediction of the Pope on Easter Sunday, 1880s, Unknown Artist (Italian), Albumen silver print from glass negative The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1960 (60.611.31)
  • 87.15.130
    Prayer in the Mosque, 1871, Jean-Léon Gérôme (French), Oil on canvas, Signed (upper right, on beam): J.L. GEROME Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887 (87.15.130)
  • 32.131
    Leaf from Futuh al-Haramain (Description of the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina), mid-16th century; Ottoman, Probably Turkey, Ink, colors, and gold on paper Rogers Fund, 1932 (32.131)
  • 2001.310
    Pilgrim's Badge Depicting the Shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral, ca. 1400, English, Pewter Gift of Dr. and Mrs. W. Conte, 2001 (2001.310)
  • 17.194.2291
    Earthenware Pilgrim Flask with Saint Menas, 610–650, Byzantine, Earthenware Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.194.2291)
  • 39.20
    Mihrab, 1354, Isfahan, Iran, Mosaic of monochrome-glaze tiles on composite body set on plaster Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1939 (39.20)
  • 87.15.106
    Jerusalem from the Environs, possibly 1881, Charles-Théodore Frère (French), Oil on canvas Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887 (87.15.106)
  • 1994.117
    Jerusalem (#2), 1990–92, Patrick Faigenbaum (French), Gelatin silver print Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1994 (1994.117) © Patrick Faigenbaum
  • 1987.205.1
    Hills III, 1986, Avner Moriah (Israeli), Oil on canvas Purchase, Sidney E. Cohn Gift, 1987 (1987.205.1)
  • 50.130.45
    From Jerusalem, 1905–6, John Singer Sargent (American), Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on off-white wove paper Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond, 1950 (50.130.45)
  • 1972.118.203
    A Theater Audience, 19th century, Honoré Daumier (French), Pen and black ink, gouache, and watercolor over black chalk Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971 (1972.118.203)
  • 19.29.2
    Mary Cassatt at the Louvre: The Etruscan Gallery, 1879–80, Edgar Degas (French), Softground etching, drypoint, aquatint, and etching, third state of nine Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.29.2)
  • 51.112.6
    Study for A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, 1884, Georges Seurat (French), Oil on canvas 27 3/4 x 41 in. (70.5 x 104.1 cm) Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951 (51.112.6)
  • Christ's Entry into Jerusalem, 15th century, Anonymous (German), Metalcut, hand-colored in green, yellow and red Gift of Felix M. Warburg and his family, 1941 (41.1.179)
    Fisherman, Yuan dynasty, ca. 1350, Wu Zhen (Chinese), Handscroll; ink on paper, Inscribed by the artist Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988 (1989.363.33)
    Procession of Objects from the Tomb to the House, evening of March 19, 1920, Harry Burton (English), The Egyptian Expedition of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gelatin silver print (53.143)
    Memory Rendering of the Man on the Moon, 1990, Vik Muniz (Brazilian), Gelatin silver print Purchase, Anonymous Gift, 1995 (1995.323.1) © Vik Muniz
    Coney Island, 1940, printed ca. 1983, Weegee (American, born Hungary); Printed by Sid Kaplan, Gelatin silver print Gift of Aaron and Jessica Rose, 1983 (1983.1130.8) © Weegee / International Center of Photography
    jpeg ny02, 2004, Thomas Ruff (German, born 1958), Chromogenic print Purchase, Denise and Andrew Saul Gift; Marlene Nathan Meyerson Gift, in memory of Andrew H. Golkin; Pamela and Arthur Sanders and The Robert A. and Renée E. Belfer Family Foundation Gifts; Neil C. S. Hirsch Gift; and Marian and James H. Cohen Gift, in memory of their son, Michael Harrison Cohen, 2006 (2006.92)
    Benediction of the Pope on Easter Sunday, 1880s, Unknown Artist (Italian), Albumen silver print from glass negative The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1960 (60.611.31)
    Prayer in the Mosque, 1871, Jean-Léon Gérôme (French), Oil on canvas, Signed (upper right, on beam): J.L. GEROME Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887 (87.15.130)
    Leaf from Futuh al-Haramain (Description of the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina), mid-16th century; Ottoman, Probably Turkey, Ink, colors, and gold on paper Rogers Fund, 1932 (32.131)
    Pilgrim's Badge Depicting the Shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral, ca. 1400, English, Pewter Gift of Dr. and Mrs. W. Conte, 2001 (2001.310)
    Earthenware Pilgrim Flask with Saint Menas, 610–650, Byzantine, Earthenware Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.194.2291)
    Mihrab, 1354, Isfahan, Iran, Mosaic of monochrome-glaze tiles on composite body set on plaster Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1939 (39.20)
    Jerusalem from the Environs, possibly 1881, Charles-Théodore Frère (French), Oil on canvas Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887 (87.15.106)
    Jerusalem (#2), 1990–92, Patrick Faigenbaum (French), Gelatin silver print Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1994 (1994.117) © Patrick Faigenbaum
    Hills III, 1986, Avner Moriah (Israeli), Oil on canvas Purchase, Sidney E. Cohn Gift, 1987 (1987.205.1)
    From Jerusalem, 1905–6, John Singer Sargent (American), Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on off-white wove paper Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond, 1950 (50.130.45)
    A Theater Audience, 19th century, Honoré Daumier (French), Pen and black ink, gouache, and watercolor over black chalk Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971 (1972.118.203)
    Mary Cassatt at the Louvre: The Etruscan Gallery, 1879–80, Edgar Degas (French), Softground etching, drypoint, aquatint, and etching, third state of nine Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.29.2)
    Study for A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, 1884, Georges Seurat (French), Oil on canvas 27 3/4 x 41 in. (70.5 x 104.1 cm) Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951 (51.112.6)
    8000–2000 B.C.
    2000–1000 B.C.
    1000 B.C.–1 A.D.
    1–500 A.D.
    500–1000 A.D.
    1000–1400 A.D.
    1400–1600 A.D.
    1600–1800 A.D.
    1800–1900 A.D.
    1900–Present

    Works of art in order of appearance

    Last Updated: August 19, 2013. Not all works of art in the Museum's collection may be on view on a particular day. For the most accurate location information, please check this page on the day of your visit.

    Christ's Entry into Jerusalem
    15th century
    Anonymous (German)
    Metalcut, hand-colored in green, yellow and red
    Gift of Felix M. Warburg and his family, 1941 (41.1.179)
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsSecond Floor
    Fisherman
    Yuan dynasty, ca. 1350
    Wu Zhen (Chinese)
    Handscroll; ink on paper
    Inscribed by the artist
    Bequest of John M. Crawford Jr., 1988 (1989.363.33)
    Not on view
    Asian ArtSecond Floor
    Procession of Objects from the Tomb to the House
    evening of March 19, 1920
    Harry Burton (English)
    The Egyptian Expedition of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Gelatin silver print
    (53.143)
    Not on view
    Egyptian ArtFirst Floor
    Memory Rendering of the Man on the Moon
    1990
    Vik Muniz (Brazilian)
    Gelatin silver print
    Purchase, Anonymous Gift, 1995 (1995.323.1)
    © Vik Muniz
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Coney Island
    1940, printed ca. 1983
    Weegee (American, born Hungary); Printed by Sid Kaplan
    Gelatin silver print
    Gift of Aaron and Jessica Rose, 1983 (1983.1130.8)
    © Weegee / International Center of Photography
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    jpeg ny02
    2004
    Thomas Ruff (German, born 1958)
    Chromogenic print
    Purchase, Denise and Andrew Saul Gift; Marlene Nathan Meyerson Gift, in memory of Andrew H. Golkin; Pamela and Arthur Sanders and The Robert A. and Renée E. Belfer Family Foundation Gifts; Neil C. S. Hirsch Gift; and Marian and James H. Cohen Gift, in memory of their son, Michael Harrison Cohen, 2006 (2006.92)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Benediction of the Pope on Easter Sunday
    1880s
    Unknown Artist (Italian)
    Albumen silver print from glass negative
    The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1960 (60.611.31)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Prayer in the Mosque
    1871
    Jean-Léon Gérôme (French)
    Oil on canvas
    Signed (upper right, on beam): J.L. GEROME
    Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887 (87.15.130)
    On view: Gallery 804
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Leaf from Futuh al-Haramain (Description of the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina)
    mid-16th century; Ottoman
    Probably Turkey
    Ink, colors, and gold on paper
    Rogers Fund, 1932 (32.131)
    Not on view
    Islamic ArtSecond Floor
    Pilgrim's Badge Depicting the Shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral
    ca. 1400
    English
    Pewter
    Gift of Dr. and Mrs. W. Conte, 2001 (2001.310)
    On view: Gallery 304
    Medieval Art and The CloistersFirst Floor
    Earthenware Pilgrim Flask with Saint Menas
    610–650
    Byzantine
    Earthenware
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.194.2291)
    On view: Gallery 300
    Medieval Art and The CloistersFirst Floor
    Mihrab
    1354
    Isfahan, Iran
    Mosaic of monochrome-glaze tiles on composite body set on plaster
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1939 (39.20)
    On view: Gallery 455
    Islamic ArtSecond Floor
    Jerusalem from the Environs
    possibly 1881
    Charles-Théodore Frère (French)
    Oil on canvas
    Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887 (87.15.106)
    On view: Gallery 804
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Jerusalem (#2)
    1990–92
    Patrick Faigenbaum (French)
    Gelatin silver print
    Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1994 (1994.117)
    © Patrick Faigenbaum
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Hills III
    1986
    Avner Moriah (Israeli)
    Oil on canvas
    Purchase, Sidney E. Cohn Gift, 1987 (1987.205.1)
    Not on view
    Modern and Contemporary ArtSecond Floor
    From Jerusalem
    1905–6
    John Singer Sargent (American)
    Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on off-white wove paper
    Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond, 1950 (50.130.45)
    Not on view
    American Paintings and SculptureFirst and Second Floors
    A Theater Audience
    19th century
    Honoré Daumier (French)
    Pen and black ink, gouache, and watercolor over black chalk
    Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971 (1972.118.203)
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsSecond Floor
    Mary Cassatt at the Louvre: The Etruscan Gallery
    1879–80
    Edgar Degas (French)
    Softground etching, drypoint, aquatint, and etching, third state of nine
    Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.29.2)
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsSecond Floor
    Study for A Sunday on La Grande Jatte
    1884
    Georges Seurat (French)
    Oil on canvas
    27 3/4 x 41 in. (70.5 x 104.1 cm)
    Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951 (51.112.6)
    On view: Gallery 826
    European PaintingsSecond Floor

    © 2011 The Metropolitan Museum of Art