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The MET Cloisters

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The MET Cloisters

The MET Cloisters is a separate museum in Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights, Upper Manhattan, New York City. The Cloisters specialises in European medieval architecture, sculpture and arts, with a focus on the Romanesque and Gothic art and architecture. It has an extensive collection of medieval art-works shown in architectural settings sourced from French monasteries and abbeys. Its buildings are centred around four cloisters which were dismantled in Europe between 1934 and 1939 and relocated to New York. They became part of the Metropolitan Museum’s Cloisters collection and were reconstructed into the design of this museum built into a hill, comprises upper and lower levels. The plan, layout and ambience of the building are intended to evoke  a sense of the religious and monastic life of medieval European

The Cloisters has medieval gardens and a series of chapels and period rooms and spaces. It holds about five thousand works of art and architecture from Europe, mostly dating from the Byzantine to the early Renaissance periods. The museum’s collection includes sculptures, tapestries, illuminated manuscripts and paintings.

Romanesque Art

Romanesque art is the art of Europe from about 1000 AD to the rise of the Gothic style in roughly the 12th century.  The term was created by art historians, to describe the Romanesque architecture, which retained many essential features of the Roman architectural style.  Notably round-headed arches, barrel vaults, apses, and leafy decoration. In Southern France, Spain and Italy these structures represented continuity with Late Antique. The Romanesque style was the first style to spread across the whole of Catholic Europe whose art was also greatly influenced by Byzantine art.

Romanesque Architecture

Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterised by semi-circular arches. The beginning of the Romanesque style ranges from the 6th to the 11th century depending on the region. It combined features of ancient Roman and Byzantine buildings known for their massively thick walls, round arches, sturdy pillars, barrel vaults, massive towers and decorative arcading. In the 12th century, it evolved into the Gothic style, which is marked by pointed arches. Romanesque architecture was the first pan-European architectural style since Imperial Roman architecture. The Romanesque style in England is referred to as Norman architecture.

Gothic architecture

Gothic architecture is an architectural style that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. Originating in 12th-century France and lasting into the 16th century, Its characteristics include the pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress. Gothic architecture is the architecture of many of the current great cathedrals, abbeys and churches of Europe.

A series of Gothic revivals began in mid-18th-century England which spread through 19th century Europe and continued, mainly for religious and university structures, into the 20th century.

Gothic Art

Gothic art was a style of medieval art that developed in Northern France out of Romanesque art in the 12th century. It spread to all of Western Europe, and much of Southern and Central Europe. Art in the Gothic period included sculpture, panel paintings, stained glass, frescos and illuminated manuscripts. The earliest Gothic art was monumental sculpture, on the walls of Cathedrals and Abbeys. In Gothic art the images of the Virgin Mary changed from the Iconic Byzantine form to a more human and affectionate mother, cuddling her infant and showing the refined manners of a well-born aristocratic lady.


The MET Cloisters

  • Museum:      The MET Cloisters
  • Established:  1938
  • Type:             Medieval Art Museum, Romanesque Architecture, Gothic architecture
  • Location:       99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan, New York City
  • Subway:        “A” train 190th Street, “1” train 191st Street
  • Bus:              Bx7, M3, M4, M100

Explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art

MET European Paintings Collection

MET Modern and Contemporary Art Collection

MET Greek and Roman Art Collection

MET Egyptian Art Collection

MET Asian Art Collection

MET Ancient Near Eastern Art Collection

MET American Wing Collection

MET Islamic Art Collection

MET Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas Collection

MET European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Collection

MET Medieval Art Collection

MET Drawings and Prints Collection

MET Costume Institute Collection

MET Arms and Armor Collection

MET Photograph Collection

MET Musical Instrument Collection

Explore the MET


“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth.”
– Proverbs 27:2


Photo Credit: 1) JOM