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The Cloisters Museum & Gardens: The Branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to Medieval Art 99 Margaret Corbin Drive Fort Tryon New York, NY 10040

The Cloisters Museum & Gardens: The Branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to Medieval Art 99 Margaret Corbin Drive Fort Tryon New York, NY 10040

The Cloisters Museum & Gardens: A Branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

99 Margaret Corbin Drive

Fort Tryon Park

New York, NY  10040

(212) 923-3700

Open: March-October 10:00am-5:15pm/November-February-10:00am-4:45pm

http://www.metmuseum.org

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d106609-Reviews-The_Met_Cloisters-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I go to The Cloisters on a pretty regular basis and they have interesting walking tours and lectures especially in the warm months. If you like Medieval or religious art, this is a museum that is worth visiting. It is out of the way and be prepared to walk up a hill but in the summer months, the view of the Hudson River is spectacular and the gardens are beautiful.

The building is just beautiful as it was created from pieces of religious sites all over Europe. Many of the doorways, cloisters (archways), stone work and fountains and windows come from churches that had been destroyed by wars over the past 600 years. Bits and pieces of all of the these buildings are displayed in the architecture of the museum itself. Some are on permanent loan to the museum from foreign countries. Don’t miss the famous “Hunt of the Unicorn” tapestries that are on display here. They are quite a spectacular exhibit.

Be sure to visit the outside terraces of the Cloisters to see the views of the Hudson River below and the beautiful gardens of Fort Tyron Park where the building is located. It is a sea of green lawns and woods and beautifully landscaped flowering paths.

There is a nice café on property but there is also a nice outdoor café in the park as well as a small restaurant row on Dyckman Avenue at the foot of the park right near the subway stop. There are also many terrific Spanish restaurants on Dyckman Street as you walk down the block towards Fort George Hill.

Welcome to The Cloisters, the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Set on a hilltop with commanding views of the Hudson River. The Cloisters is designed in a style evocative of medieval architecture specifically for the display of masterpiece created during that era. Arranged roughly chronologically and featuring works primarily from Western Europe, the collection includes sculpture, stained glass, tapestries, painting, manuscript illumination and metalwork. The extensive gardens feature medieval plantings, enhancing the evocative environment.

History of the Museum

John D. Rockefeller Jr. generously provided for the building, the setting in Fort Tryon Park and the acquisition of the notable George Grey Barnard Collection, the nucleus of The Cloisters collection. Barnard Collection, the nucleus of The Cloisters collection. Barnard, an American sculptor whose work can be seen in the American Wing of the Metropolitan, traveled extensively in France, where he purchased medieval sculpture and architectural elements often from descendants of citizens who had appropriated objects abandoned during the French Revolution. The architect Charles Collens incorporated these medieval elements into the fabric of The Cloisters, which opened to the public in 1938.

Romanesque Hall

Imposing stone portals from French churches of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries open onto a gallery that features rare Spanish frescoes and French sculpture.

Fuentiduena Chapel

The twelfth-century apse from the church of San Martin at Fuentiduena, Spain and the great contemporary fresco of Christ in Majesty from a church in the Pyrenees Mountains dominate the space. Sculpture from Italy and Spain enriches the chapel, which is the setting for a celebrated concert series.

Saint-Guilhem Cloister

The fine carving of this cloister from the monastery of Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert, near Montpellier, harmoniously and playfully adapts the forms of Roman sculpture in a medieval context. The plants depicted in the sculpture, acanthus and palm, are growing in pots near the small fountain. The gallery also features early sculpture from Italy, Islamic Spain and elsewhere in France.

Langon Chapel

Architectural elements from the twelfth-century church of Notre-Dame-du-Bourg at Langon near Bordeaux form the setting for the display of thirteenth-century French stained glass and important Burgundian sculpture in wood and stone.

Pontaut Chapter House

Monks from the Cistercian abbey at Potaut in Aquitaine once gathered for daily meetings in this twelfth-century enclosure known as a chapter house. At the time of its purchase in the 1930’s by a Parisian dealer, the column supports were being used to tether farm animals.

Cuxa Cloister and Garden

The distinctive pink stone of this cloister, featuring capitals carved with wild and fanciful creatures, was quarried in the twelfth century near Canigou in the Pyrenees Mountains for the nearby Benedictine monastery of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa. The typical cloister garden features crossed paths and a central fountain from the neighboring monastery of Saint-Genis-des-Fountaines. Both medieval and modern species of plants are grown in the garden. In winter, the arcades are enclosed and fragrant potted plants fill the walkways.

Early Gothic Hall

With thirteenth-century windows overlooking the Hudson River, the gallery features stained glass from France’s great churches, including Saint-Germain-des-Pres in Paris. Sculptures and paintings from France, Italy and Spain evoke the great age of cathedrals.

Nine Heroes Tapestries Room

From an original series of nine hangings created about 1400 for a member of the Valois court, the tapestries portray fabled heroes of ancient, Hebrew and Christian history, including the legendary King Arthur. It is among the earliest sets of surviving medieval tapestries.

Unicorn Tapestries Room

With brilliant colors, beautiful landscapes and precise depictions of flora and fauna, these renowned tapestries depicting the hunt and capture of the mythical unicorn are among the most studied and beloved objects at The Cloisters. Probably designed in Paris and woven in Brussels about 1500 for an unknown patron, these hangings blend the secular and sacred worlds of the Middle Ages.

Boppard Room

Stained glass from the fifteenth-century Camelite convent at Boppard-am-Rhein dominates one end of the room. Fifteenth-century panel paintings and sculpture from the Rhineland and northern Spain, a brass lectern, domestic furniture, Spanish lusterware, tapestries, metalwork and sculpture further evoke a sacred space.

Merode Room

One of the most celebrated early Netherlandish paintings in the world, the Merode Altarpiece, painted in Tournai about 1425-30, forms the centerpiece of this gallery. The altarpiece, intended for the private prayers of its owners, represents the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary taking place in a fifteenth-century household. Details of the scene are echoed in the late medieval furnishings of the room in which other works made for private devotion are also exhibited.

Late Gothic Hall

Large fifteenth-century limestone windows from the refectory of the former Dominican monastery in Sens, France, illuminate the hall, which showcases sculpture and altarpieces from Germany, Italy and Spain as well as a great tapestry from Burgos Cathedral.

Gothic Chapel

Beneath richly colored stained-glass windows from fourteenth-century Austria carved images from royal and noble tombs of France and Spain fill the chapel-like setting.

Glass Gallery

Silver-stained glass roundels decorate the windows of the Glass Gallery, complementing small works of art, many made for secular use, with their lively, sometimes worldly subjects. Carved woodwork from a house in Abbeville, in northern France, forms a backdrop for paintings and sculpture.

“Bonnefont” Cloister and Garden

Long thought to be part of the abbey at Bonnefont-en-Comminges, the elements of this cloister come instead from other monasteries in the region including a destroyed monastery in Tarbes. The herb garden contains more than 250 species cultivated in the Middle Ages. Its raised beds, wattle fences and central wellhead are characteristic of a medieval monastic garden.

Trie Cloister and Garden

The stone cloister elements were created primarily for the Carmelite convert at Trie-sur-Baise in the Pyrenees. The garden is planted with medieval species to evoke the millefleurs background of medieval tapestries, such as the Unicorn series.

Treasury

An array of precious objects in gold, silver, ivory and silk reflects the wealth of medieval churches. Illuminated manuscripts testify to the piety and taste of royal patrons such as Jeanne d’Evreux, Queen of France; jewelry and a complete set of fifteenth-century playing cards suggest more worldly pastimes.

Museum Hours:

Hours: Open 7 days a week

March-October 10:00am-5:15pm

November-February 10:00am- 4:45pm

Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25th and January 1st.

*Some galleries may be closed for construction or maintenance.

*Disclaimer: This information is taken right from the Cloisters pamphlet from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Please call the museum before visiting to see if anything has changed with the hours or days open. It is well worth the trip uptown to visit The Cloisters. Take the A subway up to 190th Street and take the elevator up to Fort Tryon Park and walk across the park.

 

 

 

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The Hamilton Grange National Memorial 414 West 141st Street New York, NY 10031

The Hamilton Grange National Memorial 414 West 141st Street New York, NY 10031

The Hamilton Grange

414 West 141st Street

New York, NY  10031

(646) 548-2310

http://www.nps.gov/hagr

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday-9:00am-5:00pm/Closed Monday-Tuesday

Fee: Donation

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d105813-Reviews-Hamilton_Grange_National_Memorial-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

Alexander Hamilton’s Summer Home

In the late 1700’s, well-to-do dwellers moved to Harlem Heights in the summer, seeking its cool breezes. They also wanted to avoid yellow fever, a summer threat in lower Manhattan, Hamilton and his wife, Elizabeth  (of the influential Schuyler family) often visited friends here and decided to build their own retreat.

In 1802, they moved in and Hamilton began commuting to his downtown law office, a 90 minute carriage trip. He and Elizabeth also began to entertain friends, colleagues and leader in their elegant home and gardens. Little did Hamilton know that his time at The Grange would be brief.

Witness to Slavery:

Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) grew up on Nevis and St. Croix, islands in the Caribbean, where thousands of enslaved Africans labored in sugar cane fields. As a clerk for a shipping company, young Hamilton worked directly with ship captains bringing in their human cargo. This experience haunted him and lead to his lifelong opposition to slavery.

Saved by a Hurricane:

Hamilton’s mother, Rachel, raised him and his brother along. A shop owner, she died of yellow fever when Hamilton was in his early teens. That’s when he started working at the shipping company. He impressed his boss with his energy, ambition and intelligence. Then the local newspaper published his letter describing a devastating hurricane. Townspeople were so taken by his writing that hey helped pay his way to America to further his education. In the letter, he wrote: …’the ear-piercing shrieks of the distressed were sufficient to strike astonishment into Angels’.

In America:

Hamilton plunged into American life. He enrolled in King’s College (now Colombia University) in New York. He wrote passionately about the revolutionary ideas of American rebels. When the fighting began, young Hamilton joined them. By the time he married at 25, he was a published writer, seasoned military leader and a close friend of George Washington.

Family Man:

Hamilton and Elizabeth loved children. They had eight of their own and took in others. Hamilton’s work as a lawyer helped pay bills while he served the county with little if nay pay.

The Duel:

After years of differences, Aaron Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel in 1804. Burr, now the country’s vice-president, felt he had to defend his honor. Friends tried to soothe both men but failed. Facing possible death, Hamilton wrote letters to his friends and family. After he died from Burr’s bullet, Elizabeth read his letter and these final words: ‘Adieu, best of wives and best of women. Embrace all my darling children for me’.

Elizabeth Carries On:

Family friends made sure Elizabeth had enough money to live with her children at The Grange. She preserved Hamilton’s thousands of letters, essays and other writings. She also started an orphanage and was its director into her 80’s. At age 91, she went to live with a daughter in Washington DC. She charmed presidents and other dignitaries until she died in 1854 at age 97.

Alexander Hamilton: Soldier, Founder and Philosopher:

Revolutionary War Days:

By age 21, Alexander Hamilton identified  himself with the revolutionary cause. He organized an artillery unit that defended New York City and fought in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. George Washington noticed Hamilton’s daring and intelligence and appointed him as a personal aide.

Hamilton’s new job required him to be writer, diplomat and advisor to Washington. Even so, Hamilton ached to return to battle. Eventually, Washington appointed him Colonel of an infantry brigade. Hamilton led a major attack in the battle of Yorktown in 1781.

Bold Ideas for New Times:

As a lawyer after the war, Hamilton defended New York citizens who had been loyal to Britain. He argued the new treaties and laws protecting all citizens and that loyalists would help rebuild the city. He also led the New York Manumission Society, which protected and educated free and enslaved African-Americans.

At the 1787 Constitution Convention, Hamilton argued for a strong central government. With James Madison and John Jay, he wrote essays explaining the new Constitution and urging citizens to vote for its ratification. Politicians and judges still consult “The Federalist Papers” about the meaning of the US Constitution.

In the New Government:

As first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton recommended the federal government pay off states debts, tax imported goods, establish a national bank and promote manufacturing. His ideas worried Sectary of State Thomas Jefferson, who believed the federal government did not have powers. Hamilton argued the Constitution supported flexible ‘implied powers.’ Congress and the Supreme Court agreed. By the end of Hamilton’s term, the country had excellent credit and a strong economy.

A Controversial Citizen:

Hamilton resumed his law practice in 1795 after leaving federal service. His clients included free and enslaved African-Americans whom he helped for no pay. He also defended a newspaper editor sued for slander by Thomas Jefferson. Hamilton argued journalists had the same rights as citizens to freedom of speech. His victory strengthened United States citizens’ First Amendment rights.

Hamilton often criticized President Jefferson’s government and his vice-president, Aaron Burr. His harsh words about Burr lead to the duel that ended Hamilton’s life. Alexander Hamilton’s short and controversial life left the United States poised to become a powerful nation something he dreamed of but did not see.

Visiting the site:

Planning your visit:

Hamilton Grange is on West 141st Street between Convent and St. Nicholas Avenues, its third location. In 1889, the city began building new streets across the estate. A church bought The Grange and moved it to safety two blocks away. In 2008, the National Park Service moved it to its current location, still on the original estate.

Hamilton Grange is open year-round, 9:00am to 5:00pm, Wednesday through Sunday except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Exhibits and a film highlight Hamilton’s major achievements. Guided tours are first-come, first-serve and limited to 15 visitors. Enjoy quiet activities on the grounds.

We strive to make our facilities, services and programs accessible to all. Call or visit our website.

More Information:

Hamilton Grange National Memorial

414 West 141st Street

New York, NY  10031

646-548-2310

http://www.rips.gov/hagr

Hamilton Grange is near bus routes and subway stations; see maps at right. Visit http://www.mta.info for routes and schedules. All applicable federal, state and city laws and regulations apply here.

Hamilton Grange National Memorial is one of over 390 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks, visit http://www.rips.gov.

*This information was taken off the pamphlet available at the site put out by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior: National Memorial New York.

*Bloggers Note: Because of the Musical on Broadway presently, the site has gotten very busy during the summer months but don’t let that deter you from visiting. The house and the tour are very interesting. I mentioned this on my blog “MywalkinManhattan” when visiting this part of Harlem. There are a lot of nice restaurants close by and the SUNY campus is right there to relax in. The neighborhood is save but still you have to watch yourself anytime you walk around NYC.

 

 

 

Baylor Massacre Burial Site: Rivervale Road & Red Oak Drive,  River Vale, NJ

Baylor Massacre Burial Site: Rivervale Road & Red Oak Drive, River Vale, NJ

The Baylor Massacre Burial Site: One of the great stops when touring Historical Bergen County, New Jersey

Rivervale Road and Red Oak Drive

River Vale, NJ

*A County Historical Site

Open: Dawn to Dusk

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46777-d12277914-Reviews-Baylor_Massacre_Burial_Site-River_Vale_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

After midnight on September 28, 1778 during America’s Revolutionary War, the brutal surprise attack by the British forces on the sleeping men of the 3rd Continental Light Dragoons began. Today this is known as the Baylor Massacre. Now a County-owned historic park and burial ground, the Baylor Massacre Site is located along the Hackensack River in River Vale in Northern Bergen County, New Jersey.

In the Autumn of 1778, British General Cornwallis occupied southern Bergen County with a force of 5000 soldiers. Their purpose was to gather and forage for food to feed the army that would be garrisoned in New York City during the upcoming winter.  Bergen County, with its fertile land and industrious Jersey Dutch farms, was a major source for food for both armies during the Revolution.

The Third Continental Light Dragoons, under the command by Lt. Colonel George Baylor, was one of four regiments of dragoons authorized by the Continental Congress. On the 27th of September, these 104 officers and men were dispatched to watch the bridge over the Hackensack River at the intersection of modern Rivervale and Old Tappan Roads to support General Wayne and his men in Tappan, New York.

The British forces were lead by General Charles “No Flint” Grey, who earned his nickname in the 1777 battle with General Wayne’s Pennsylvania troops when he ordered his men to remove the flints from their muskets to prevent an accidental gunshot and to use bayonets to insure the surprise of a nighttime attack. These tactics were used again in River Vale.

Grey’s men used their muskets to club and their bayonets to stab the sleeping dragoons. Eleven were killed immediately. Three more including 2nd in Command Major Alexander Clough (Washington’s Chief of Intelligence for the Hudson Valley), died of their wounds in Tappan the following day.  Records indicate that as many as 22 men died some several weeks later. Two officers and 37 men, most of who were wounded, managed to escape into the night. One British soldier was killed when shot by a dragoon.

Grey’s men quickly gathered their prisoners and captured American equipment and continued up North. Fortunately General Wayne had been alerted of the movement of the British and had evacuated Tappan. The next day a detachment of the Bergen County Militia was dispatched to River Vale to locate any survivors. Finding six of the dead patriots at the bridge and fearing the possible return of British troops, they hurried to bury them in three abandoned leather tanning vats by the river.

The burial location was passed on by word of mouth for many generations. The only physical maker was the abandoned millstone from the tannery. Abram C. Holdrum removed the millstone from the site around 1900. For many years it was displayed in from of the local Holdrum School.

In 1967, a local resident became alarmed that a new housing development would destroy this historic burial site. Through careful research the approximate location of the burials was identified. County Freeholder D. Bennett Mazur was contacted and as a result, the County sponsored an archaeological dig that located six sets of remains. The County eventually acquired the site and dedicated it as a County Park. In 1974, the patriots’ remains were re-interred in the park and the original millstone was donated to serve as their gravestone.

In 2003, the County dedicated new interpretive panels and accessible pathways at the Baylor Massacre site. It is open year round during daylight hours.

WWW.BERGEN.NJ.US

*Pamphlet: 2015 Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. The Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.

Note from the Blogger: it is easy to miss the site so watch for the markers. For those interesting in the historical background of the Revolutionary War and New Jersey’s role in the war, take the time to visit this and other sites around Bergen County, New Jersey. They may be small but very significant.

 

Welcome to ‘VisitingaMuseum.com’, a trip through smaller museums, cultural sites and parks & gardens in NYC and beyond.

Welcome to ‘VisitingaMuseum.com’, a trip through smaller museums, cultural sites and parks & gardens in NYC and beyond.

My name is Justin Watrel and welcome to ‘VisitingaMuseum.com’, a trip through cultural sites, small unique museums,  historic mansions and homes and pocket parks & community gardens in New York City and beyond its borders. I created this blog site to cross reference all the cultural sites that I came across when I was traveling through Manhattan  for my walking blog, “MywalkinManhattan.com”. I was inspired by all these sites that I had missed over the years and never knew existed in New York City and its suburbs.  Many of these being in Bergen County, NJ where I live. I found that most people feel the same way. The only way you would know that these sites existed is by walking past them.

So I created this site to showcase all these smaller, largely unexplored ‘gems’ in Manhattan, the rest of New York City and places outside the greater New York City area. I concentrate on smaller, more off beat places that you might miss in the tour books or may just find by passing them on the street. This has lead me to  becoming a member of the Bergen County Historical Society in Riveredge, NJ as well as other cultural sites in the area.

There is so many interesting historical sites, parks, gardens and homes to explore that I want to share it with all of you. They are tucked behind buildings and walls, locked behind gates or hidden behind trees only for you to want to discover them.

I want to give these smaller and unique ‘gems’ more exposure and ‘sing their praises’  to an audience (namely out of town tourists) who might overlook them. It is hard for a lot of these cultural site because of the lack of volunteers or volunteers getting older or the absence of money to properly advertise these sites.

So join me in the extension of “MywalkinManhattan.com” with my new site “VisitingaMuseum.com” and share the adventure with me. Join me also on my sister blog sites, “DiningonaShoeStringinNYC@Wordpress.com” and ‘LittleShoponMainStreet@Wordpress.com’ for restaurants and small shops.

These sites featuring all sorts of small restaurants, bodegas and bakeries, where a quality meal can be had for $10.00 and under and unusual stores with unique merchandise that just stand out in their respective neighborhoods. It is important to support small business owners especially in this economy.

So join me here as I take “MywalkinManhattan” to some unique and special historical sites and open spaces.