cloisters

The Cloisters

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Listed in Art, Cultural, European, Museum, Visual Art

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The Cloisters is used to exhibit the museum’s extensive collection of art, architecture and artifacts from Medieval Europe. It is situated on a hill overlooking the Hudson River, and incorporates parts from five European abbeys which were disassembled and shipped to New York City, where, between 1934 and 1939, they were reconstructed and integrated together with new buildings in the medieval style designed by Charles Collens. The area around the buildings was landscaped with gardens planted according to horticultural information obtained from medieval manuscripts and artifacts, and the structure includes multiple medieval-style cloistered herb gardens.

The Cloisters collection contains approximately five thousand European medieval works of art, with a particular emphasis on pieces dating from the 12th through the 15th centuries. Notable works of architecture include the Cuixà cloister, with an adjacent Chapter House; and the Fuentidueña Apse from a chapel in the province of Segovia (Castilla y León, Spain).

Among the works of art are seven Flemish tapestries depicting The Hunt of the Unicorn, Robert Campin’s Mérode Altarpiece, and the Romanesque altar cross known as the Cloisters Cross or Bury St. Edmunds Cross, which was acquired under the curatorship of Thomas Hoving.

The Cloisters also holds many medieval manuscripts and illuminated books, including the Limbourg brothers’ Les Belles Heures du Duc de Berry and Jean Pucelle’s book of hours for Jeanne d’Evreux.

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