I’ve never been to The Met Cloisters, so I was thrilled when we had the chance to visit this past weekend to check out the only museum dedicated exclusively to the art and architecture of the Middle Ages.
They recently re-opened on September 12th, after being closed for six months with new guidelines for social distancing that made the whole experience super safe and enjoyable.
From vibrant gardens to stunning view of the Hudson River, our visit to the Cloisters was a magical escape back in time that
Social Distancing and Safety at The Met Cloisters
Admission to The Met Cloisters is admitted by a timed entry that can be secured online in advance in one-hour increments and limited to 25 percent of the Museum’s maximum capacity. New Yorkers and New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut students can reserve timed admission online, and such visitors may also pay as they wish at the on-site ticketing desk.
Upon arrival, they took our temperature and required the wearing of masks, which is pretty much the norm at most places. Social distancing was also observed by the one-way route throughout the galleries that was clearly marked off by arrows.
There are also numerous hand sanitizer stations found throughout the space, and the West Terrace is temporarily closed. Also, at some smaller gallery areas, they restricted the number of people were room, and with the timed entry, it didn’t seem to crowded or overwhelming.
The full list of Visitor Guidelines is available online.
What’s On View at The Met Cloisters?
During our visit, we saw paintings, illuminated manuscripts, tapestries, sculptures, and other treasures from medieval Europe, including the seven monumental Unicorn Tapestries and the famed Early Netherlandish masterpiece the Merode Altarpiece. Inside the Medieval Treasury, the Prato Haggadah (on loan from The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary) is opened to a richly ornamented page appropriate both to Passover and Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival. In the same gallery, The Belles Heures of Jean de Berry and The Cloisters Apocalypse are opened to pages in which the subject matter is confronting the sober reality of plague.
There are also numerous gardens to view, which even includes many herbs and flowers that were once grown in the Middle Ages—received meticulous care throughout the Museum’s closure.
Visitors will find billowy pink “Autumn Joy” sedum in the Judy Black Garden, as well as pears, quinces, hops, buckwheat, and a solitary fig ripening in the Bonnefont Cloister herb garden.
Visit the Met Cloisters at 99 Margaret Corbin DriveFort Tryon Park, NYC. General admission tickets can be secured online in advance in one-hour increments. A new, free shuttle service will be available with advance reservation for those requiring step-free access while visiting the Museum. Details on parking and directions are available online, including subway and bus routes in light of the current closure of the 190th Street Station elevators. More information on what visitors can expect is available here, or visit metmuseum.org.