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A Meeting and Music at The Cloisters Museum

Elizabeth and I planned to meet uptown at The Cloisters Museum & Gardens a few days before I was scheduled to leave New York City. A friend from the blogging world, we’d read and commented on each other’s blogs for several months before we met and strengthened our connection offline.

Talk about six degrees of separation? About a year ago, I was on the phone with Elizabeth arranging our first meeting when friend of hers arrived. Accompanying her was a cousin of mine that I’d never met. I still shake my head when I think how unbelievable that was.

The Cloisters Museum & Garden

Entrance to the museum

So I was looking forward to catching up with Elizabeth again and excited to experience The Cloisters with her.

A branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters Museum & Gardens houses a fine collection of medieval art and manuscripts, illuminated books and Flemish tapestries.

The museum was created from an endowment from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and built to resemble several European medieval abbeys. At least five buildings were taken apart, the bricks reassembled to create the museum which occupies its own campus north of Manhattan in Fort Tryon Park.

Despite a light rain and dark, ominous skies, the museum was bustling with people and activity. In addition to the beautiful tapestries, stained glass, sculptures and paintings for which The Cloisters is well-known, there was a sound installation of the reworked forty-voice motet, Spem in alium numquam habui by Thomas Tallis, in the Fuentidueña Chapel.

The installation, by Canadian multimedia artist Janet Cardiff, is the first presentation of contemporary art at The Cloisters. Forty speakers, one for each voice, have been mounted throughout the chapel, filling the museum with haunting choral sounds that seemed to follow us where ever we went. The installation will be on display until December 8, 2013.

The Cloisters Museum & Garden

View of Manhattan from The Cloisters

Elizabeth and I had planned to have a bite in the cafe and sit in the garden but the rain changed that plan. That only means that we’ll return when the weather’s better.

Visiting The Cloisters

The Cloisters Museum & Gardens is located at 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York. The museum is open 7 days from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults $25 (Recommended), free to members
Accessible to the M4 bus (The Cloisters/Fort Tryon Park), and ‘A’ train (190th Street station).
Free parking is available at Fort Tryon Park.
No flash photography allowed.

Linking up this week with Travel Photo Thursday, which Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox organizes. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.