The Cloisters , located in Fort Tryon Park, New York City is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe.
The Cloisters, standing near Manhattan island on a hill overlooking the Hudson River, incorporates parts from five French cloistered abbeys. The area around The Cloisters was landscaped with gardens planted according to horticultural information obtained from medieval manuscripts and artifacts.
History & construction
Sculptor George Barnard founded the museum in 1914. The building was reconstructed in the 1930s from the architectural elements of several European medieval abbeys. It is used to exhibit art and architecture from Medieval Europe.
The museum and adjacent park, which incorporate four acres (16,000 m²), were created through an endowment grant by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who also donated the majority of his medieval art collection to the project. Much of this art collection came from George Grey Barnard, an American sculptor and collector of medieval art. After Rockefeller purchased Barnard’s entire collection, he presented the works to the Met as a gift. The collection, combined with a number of pieces from Rockefeller’s own collection became the centerpiece for The Cloisters
The museum buildings were designed by Charles Collens the architect of New York City’s Riverside Church who reconstructed the cloister elements salvaged from Europe by simplifying and merging the various medieval styles.
The Cloisters houses medieval art in a building that itself features medieval cloisters, chapels and halls. The Cloisters collection contains approximately five thousand European medieval works of art, with a particular emphasis on pieces dating from the twelfth through the fifteenth centuries.
Among the works of art are seven south Netherlandish tapestries . The Cloisters also holds many medieval manuscripts and illuminated books, including the Limbourg brothers Les Belles Heures du Duc de Berry .