#61 The Cloisters

My name is Corinne Kowal and I would like to adopt The Cloisters Museum & Gardens.

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The Cloisters (Image courtesy of Michael Scherer via Flickr)

 

Tell us a bit more about yourself
I am Corinne, an interior designer in love with colors and a mother to two beautiful boys, aged 3 years and 2 weeks. I am an expat at heart being German born and raised in France, and having lived 5 years in NYC, 4 years in Berlin and we now living in Europe’s capital Brussels.

Tell us a bit more about your adopted museum
The Cloisters is a division of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York City, located at the northern tip of Manhattan, that regroups European medieval art and architecture. It is easily accessible
by the 190th Street subway station on the A line. Opening hours are Tuesdays to Sundays from 9:30 am to 5:15 pm from March to October and to 4:45 pm from November to February. Although there is no fixed amount to pay the recommended admission fee for both the Cloisters and the main MET buildings downtown is $25 per adult.

Why have you chosen to adopt this museum?
I grew up in France and spent a lot of time vacationing in the southern Languedoc Roussillon region. The building that hosts the Cloisters museum incorporates architectural elements from five different medieval French abbeys that were shipped to New York between 1934 and 1938. Four or those five abbeys are actually located in the French region that I know so well, and when I first saw the museum’s outline in Fort Tyron Park, it almost felt like a homecoming of sorts. The fact that a large park surrounds the buildings makes you forget that you are on one of the busiest islands of the world. John D. Rockefeller Jr. who donated most of his medieval art collection to the project also purchased and donated a large part of the New Jersey Palisades on the other side of the Hudson River to ensure that the view would remain unspoiled. There is nothing but these old stones, trees and the river to be seen from the museum.

Why would you recommend people visit?
Despite growing up in Europe, I had never been such a fan of medieval art before visiting the Cloisters. However this small branch of the MET hosts an exquisite collection where every single piece is a gem. Being a small museum it allows to truly take the time to enjoy every single piece shown without fear to miss out on something by lack of time. Going up there is a little time consuming and almost feels like an adventure but the reward is a true break from the bustle of New York City, which many New Yorkers know is priceless. For tourists it is a nice break from the beaten path and the occasion to discover something different, a place up there on the Island of Manhattan where it is still possible to imagine what the Island once was, a place where time seems to stand still.

How would you sum up your museum in three words?
Surprising – Enchanting – Exquisite

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(Image Source: Michael Scherer on Flickr via Creative Commons)

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