The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s second location, The Met Cloisters, is one of my favorite museums. Dedicated to the art of the Middle Ages, the museum was completed in 1938 using both modern materials and architectural salvage from European castles, churches and monasteries. It has distinct spaces evoking those structures, nesting the artworks in the collection in a familiar context — the unicorn tapestries in a castle-like room, for example. Even the outdoors is a medieval wonderland, with its cloister garden of carefully curated plants that gives the museum its name.
Take a quick flythrough to see you for yourself:
This fall, the gardens were the subject of a fascinating webinar with The Cloisters’ horticulturalists. It gives you a glimpse behind the scenes of the work at the end of the growing season and how they curate the landscape using medieval sources.
The museum has a ton of other virtual content. There’s an overview of the building and its content here. The audio tours are comprehensive and worth listening to even when you’re not fortunate enough to be present in person. I also love the blog about the history of The Cloisters’ Library and Archives and its dedicated librarians.