Taking a Trip to The Met Cloisters

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Taking a Trip to The Met Cloisters

This week Libby takes us on a visit to a satellite location of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Let’s see what she found at The Met Cloisters.


You’ve probably heard of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, but did you know their collection is not limited to the main building located on Fifth Avenue? If you travel all the way up to the northern tip of Manhattan, you’ll find The Met’s collection of European medieval art and architecture. Located at the top of a steep hill in the northern end of Fort Tryon Park is The Met Cloisters. Here you’ll be able to wander through buildings centered around four cloisters—the Cuxa, Saint-Guilhem, Bonnefont and Trie—that were purchased by American sculptor and art dealer George Grey Barnard, dismantled in Europe between 1934 and 1939, and moved to New York City, where they now live at the Cloisters.


Also housed there is a collection of about 5,000 works of art and architecture, mostly dating from the Byzantine to the early Renaissance periods, mainly the 12th through 15th centuries. In addition to this collection, which consists of stone and wood sculptures, tapestries, stained glass, panel paintings, illuminated manuscripts and more, visitors can also explore various chapels and three different gardens located on the grounds containing over 250 different types of plants, flowers and herbs, including a variety of rare medieval species.


If you need a break from all the art, be sure to head outside to the west terrace and take in the views across the Hudson River to the Palisades. Pro-tip…plan your visit for later in the day to take full advantage of the late afternoon sun through the many stained glass windows. You won’t be disappointed! And, since it’s not as huge at the main Met building on Fifth Avenue, you won’t need all day to explore.


Lee Altpeter