My family visited the Met Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park, and yours should too
STATEN ISLAND, NY – “Bust of the Virgin (ca. 1390-95) – Dignified and poised, the Virgin inclines her youthful head as if weighed down by the weight of the ornate crown, and her downcast eyes and pursed lips express her painful resignation. This bust, the upper part of a standing or enthroned figure that would have included the Christ Child, is a textbook example of the so-called Beautiful Style, born in Prague at the end of the 14th century.
“A technical tour de force, it is the only known terracotta sculpture from medieval Bohemia. Thanks to the hardness of the terracotta, this bust is practically intact except for minor leaks, and the details remain as sharp as when it came out of the potter’s furnace. The figure original complete, more than a meter high, it was probably installed on an altar in a church ”. – The cloisters of the Met
My two teenage daughters stood, studied and admired the beautiful glass sculpture of the Madonna, in awe of its near perfect condition, despite its 630 years.
It was the highlight of their recent first ever visit to the Cloisters of the Met, nestled in Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights, ablaze in the peak of fall foliage. Also known as the Cloisters, it specializes in medieval European art and architecture, with a focus on the Romanesque and Gothic periods.
The Cloister takes its name from the portions of five medieval cloisters incorporated into a modern museum structure. The design does not replicate a particular type of medieval building or setting, but is meant to evoke the architecture of the late Middle Ages.
For those unfamiliar with it, a cloister is a covered walkway, a loggia or an open portico that runs along the walls of the buildings and forms a quadrilateral.
For two hours, my children marveled at 2,000 works of art in front of the rich selection of objects and architectural elements of the Cloisters, dated from the 12th to the 15th century, taking photos for further study (and to share with their cousins and friends).
They looked at the stained glass windows of the castle chapel in Ebreichsdorf, Austria, and the Carmelite church in Boppard-am-Rhein and a gallery dedicated to late medieval private devotion, including altarpieces from Spain.
Equally enjoyable was an open-air garden on the cloister roof, a popular section of the museum since its opening in 1938, planted in reconstructed Romanesque and Gothic cloisters and which enhanced visitors’ understanding of medieval life.
As the season approaches colder weather and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s uncertain COVID-19 restrictions, plan your day trip to the Cloisters, a scenic 40-minute drive to the Upper West Side, or subway (Lines A or C) or by bus (BXM1, M100 or M4).
On the day of our visit, parking was a challenge, but the view was delightful as we searched for a spot. COVID-19 social distancing and face masks have been enforced, and timed bookings for admission are encouraged.
For New York residents and school students in New York, NJ, Connecticut, the amount of admission is up to you. For everyone else, admission is as follows: Adults, $ 25; Seniors (65 and over), $ 17; Students, $ 12; Members and Patrons, Free; Children (under 12), free.
If you would like to pay less than the general entrance ticket prices, you can purchase your ticket at one of the Met locations with a valid ID. All admission tickets include, at no extra cost, admission to the exhibits and same-day admission to both locations of the Met.
The Met Cloisters is located at 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon, New York. Entrance to the Museum is with hourly ticket or by reservation only and capacity is limited. Click here for more detailed information: The cloisters of the Met.
The times are as follows:
Open from Thursday to Monday
Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday
March-October: 10 am-5pm
November – February: 10: 00-16: 30
Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25th, January 1st.
* The galleries are cleared fifteen minutes before closing.