Hildesheim Cathedral has one of the most complete surviving ensembles of church furnishings and treasures in Europe, with many masterpieces made between 1000 and 1250. As a result, it was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1985. A major renovation of the cathedral provides an opportunity for this extraordinary exhibition of medieval church treasures. Consisting of about fifty works, the exhibition focuses primarily on Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim (960–1022), one of the greatest patrons of the arts in the Middle Ages. In addition to the famous monumental bronze doors and the column in Hildesheim Cathedral that cannot travel, Bernward commissioned many smaller precious works of art, mostly for his monastic foundation St. Michael's. A silver crucifix and candlesticks and numerous illuminated manuscripts (that he is known to have commissioned), and the Golden Madonna (that he is believed to have commissioned), are part of the exhibition.
The exhibition also examines the artistic production of Hildesheim in the high Middle Ages, including the monumental bronze baptismal font that is a masterpiece of thirteenth-century metalwork.
"Dazzling"—New York Sun
"Today, [Hildesheim's] churches and museums still preserve one of the richest and densest concentrations of 11th-century European religious art anywhere. And the Met show is pure cream skimmed off the top."—New York Times
The exhibition is made possible by the Michel David-Weill Fund.
The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.