Day Trip to the Cloisters

Most New Yorkers have heard of the Cloisters, but only a small percentage actually make the trek. Granted, it's somewhat out of the way, situated atop a steep hill around 190th street. Yet, from Penn Station it's a short 20-25 minute ride on the express A train. From there, you leave the city behind while meandering through a Heather Garden overlooking the Hudson River. Even in late December, there was a surprising display of natural color on the ground. Within 10 minutes, Sue and I arrived at the museum's entrance and I knew we were in for a treat. 

Home to an exquisite collection of European medieval art, this might just be Manhattan's most impressive hidden gem. Photography is allowed and I used my OMD EM10 with the 17mm f2.8. Here were some of my favorite sites from the visit. 

Reliquary Busts of Female Saints. Oak with paint and gilding. South Netherlandish, Brabant, possibly Brussels, ca. 1520-30.

Reliquary Busts of Female Saints. Oak with paint and gilding. South Netherlandish, Brabant, possibly Brussels, ca. 1520-30.

The Unicorn in Captivity. Wool, silk, silver, and gilded-silver wrapped thread. South Netherlandish, ca. 1495-1505.

The Unicorn in Captivity. Wool, silk, silver, and gilded-silver wrapped thread. South Netherlandish, ca. 1495-1505.

Death with a Peasant, a Prince, and a Pope. North Netherlandish, ca. 1510-20.

Death with a Peasant, a Prince, and a Pope. North Netherlandish, ca. 1510-20.

Blessing Bishop (Saint Nicholas of Bari). Poplar with paint and gilding. Italian, probably Umbria, ca. 1350-75.

Blessing Bishop (Saint Nicholas of Bari). Poplar with paint and gilding. Italian, probably Umbria, ca. 1350-75.

Seated Virgin and Child. Walnut with paint and gilding. French, ca. 1300-1350.

Seated Virgin and Child. Walnut with paint and gilding. French, ca. 1300-1350.

Tomb of Ermengol VII, Count of Urgell. Limestone with traces of paint. Catalan, Lerida, ca. 1300-1350.

Tomb of Ermengol VII, Count of Urgell. Limestone with traces of paint. Catalan, Lerida, ca. 1300-1350.

It took a few hours to check out every nook and cranny of the museum. Afterwards, we found a nice spot for lunch and continued towards 181st street to find the Little Red Lighthouse. More on that in an upcoming post.

For now, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy, healthy New Year!  

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