Dr. Allen and Students Visit Cloisters Museum in NYC

On Saturday October 7th, Dr. Joanne Allen and students in her Gothic Architecture seminar course made the long pilgrimage to New York City to visit The Cloisters, an outpost of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For some students, this was their first time encountering genuine European medieval buildings, which, in the early part of the twentieth century, were dismantled, shipped across the Atlantic and reassembled piece by piece. They marveled at intricate stone carvings on cloister capitals, lavish reliquaries in the treasury, and, of course, the famous Merode altarpiece and Unicorn tapestries. From a museum studies perspective, they also considered issues of misleading display practices, the intersection of medieval and modern building techniques, and the ethics of divorcing buildings from their original contexts.


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