Calm B4 • Storm: The Cloisters, part 1

There is nothing more of a privilege than going to a museum. Even when you pay a price for it. It still remains a privilege to be able to see something you may never have known existed, or had only seen in a tiny print reproduced in a book.

1 Episode from The Story of the Redemption of Man 1500-20Episode of The Story of the Redemption of Man (above), tapestry, 1500-20, and one of its many detail (below).

Episode from The Story of the Redemption of Man 1500-20Having said all that. I will say, there is nothing more artificial as a museum, it is a totally controlled, manufactured experience which can go all the way from uninspiring to wow! This is what I call art fag terminology, because you really have to have a love of the museum experience. And as nothing is more artificial as the museum experience, nothing is more artificial as a trip to the Cloisters. –Thank goodness!

DSC_0251If it’s quince, it must be NYC, right?

“The Cloisters is a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, was assembled from architectural elements, both domestic and religious, that date from the twelfth through the fifteenth century.

DSC_0013The guard was a panic. They kept setting off the alarm, because they were too close in one room!

“The building and its cloistered gardens—located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan—are treasures in themselves, effectively part of the collection housed there. The Cloisters’ collection comprises approximately three thousand works of art from medieval Europe, dating from about the ninth to the sixteenth century.” Wikipedia

Tabernacle panels Spanish 13th cSpanish tabernacle panels, 13th-c (left); (right) rendition of original grouping.

1 crucifix smallI was in the Prado on a tour. Matt and I had come back to the Prado, again, to seem or (re)see some of the collection we had seen before. I ran into a couple who was also on the tour who was baffled by the late Medieval and early Renaissance collection. I asked them why they felt nothing about this. “We’re Jewish, and we don’t understand what this means.” Matt, too, had not been brought up religious, and while there has been an appreciation for Bosch, the medieval escapes him. I realized it is the same for me with Hindi miniatures, and even those Indian Islamic pieces that interpret the old Testament. Context means everything.

1 Annunciation Triptych (Merode Altarpiece) Roger Champin wholeWorkshop of Roger Champin, Annunciation Triptych (Merode Altarpiece)

Roger Champin’s Merode Altarpiece was unexpected for me. It is one of those pieces that you are lucky that you can see, as many people know of it and have come to see it. Except for the glass which covers its panels, you can see the reflection of the far right,

1 within rogerit is perfect to view. Then again, the room it is in has so many reverberations from the painting, as if to accent and remind you.

1 The Hunt of the Unicorn tapestryThe Hunt of the Unicorn tapestry series is reminiscent of the style William Morris built a career on.

1 compoisite standingMany polychromed pieces, including the beautifully done Standing Bishop (left).

1 Rogier van der Weyden Polyptych with the Nativity1 poly detail1 poly detail2The beauty of Rogier van der Weyden’s Polytych with the Nativity

1 iberian pottery1 potteryIt is quite amazing just how these beautiful Iberian pottery pieces sit there.

1 manuscriptBeautiful illuminated manuscript, and some wonderful jewelry and artifacts.

1 carved wood1 arches1 interiors

1 two interiorsDSC_0634There is the beauty of these exquisite spaces that you keep walking through, that pull you away from just the idea of a museum, and into the idea of another century.

stainedI got so involved with the stained glass, I added yet another post for it. That and another one for faces. And one for exteriors, the gardens and view of the Palisades.


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