Stepping Back in Time at the Cloisters

I visited the Cloisters Museum this past weekend. This is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and holds a large portion of the Medieval collection. Set in the middle of a picturesque park at the top of Manhattan, I find myself spirited away when I visit there going back in time to an idealized society and way of life that is often more romantic than reality-based.

Between druidic instincts in the surrounding park and a religious sensibility that somehow transcends its own historical rigidity, I feel the familiarity and comfort there more that comes with time and peace.

This trip, I brought my camera and intended to take photos of things I have never seen there before. Having been in every room more times than I can count, I often notice when works of art are moved, and where they previously were located. Yet, I saw some things that were still new for me. I uploaded my pictures to The Cloisters set in Flickr, and these are a few of my favorites:

I love Medieval art and culture, yet am very happy I did not live in that time; it was much harsher than it appears in our museums!

Now that I have created a new tagline for my blog, what did I learn (or rather, what meaning did I make from this trip)? Well, many of the items in this museum were used and functional items (though primarily for the wealthy and religious of the day). How those items then entered into our visage as something to be revered and learned form makes me wonder what in our current day will last, of anything? This discussion is even being discussed, in a related way, in the current SCoPE workshop Building a Virtual Museum on the History of Educational Technology.

The Heather Garden, Fort Tryon Park

I have recently been drawn to parks, trees, flowers, and nature, so on my way to the Cloisters Museum this past Saturday, I decided to bring my camera and wonder through the Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park. Was I ever surprised to see so many beautiful flowers and bushes in bloom this late in the year! My stroll turned into several hours of enjoying the environment, the scents, the views, and peace that comes with letting go of the distractions and wonders of contemporary society for a brief bit of getting back in touch with myself. I took these pictures to try to capture what I experienced, and while they cannot replace my memories, they are the best way to share them with others online.

I uploaded the garden pictures to Flickr, and will share a few of them here to brighten my blog. May they brighten your day as well.