As I'm sure all of you know by now, the Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris caught on fire yesterday and suffered extensive damage. Yesterday's events made me appreciate what a true miracle it is that any ancient treasures survive at all. But just because they've gotten this far doesn't mean that they will always be around.
Last week, I attended the New York Antiquarian Book Fair and enjoyed taking a close look at the medieval illuminated manuscripts offered for sale there. This opportunity reminded me how manuscripts' greatest qualities are best enjoyed in person.
I just finished reading Thomas Hoving's King of the Confessors, which is about Hoving's adventures in acquiring what's now called The Cloisters Cross. Thanks to him, this English Romanesque carved ivory cross is one of the highlights of the Met Cloisters. The story is wild, and I couldn't put it down.
Over Christmas break, I saw Agents of Faith: Votive Objects in Time and Place at the Bard College Graduate Center Gallery in Manhattan. The show's almost over, so instead of writing a review, I thought I would tell you what votives are and what I learned about them in the show.
For the past few months, I've been working with Citaliarestauro.com, a Portuguese e-learning company specializing in art history, to create an online course about the history of Gothic architecture. I'm so excited to announce that it is now available for purchase!
Want to enjoy great architecture from your couch? I recently discovered a host of virtual tours of famous works of architecture. How cool is that? While you can never truly experience a place from a computer screen, it's nice to have the option when travelling to the site in person isn't in your schedule (or budget). All of the tours listed are 360° experiences, not just pictures.
Heavenly Bodies is an exhibition of high fashion influenced by Catholicism. It features the likes of Chanel, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, and John Galliano. The exhibition takes place primarily in the museum's main galleries, where the fashion appears amongst works of medieval art.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is a small art museum on the campus of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The museum contains a little bit of everything, but its claim to fame is probably its many Hudson River School paintings. The rest of the collection ranges from ancient to contemporary works in small quantities.
The Cloisters is a museum of medieval art, but I think it's more than that. To me, it's also a sort of medieval fantasy land (in a good way). The museum building is neo-medieval structure that incorporates genuine pieces of Romanesque and Gothic architecture within it. Spending time there is a little like being transported to another time and place.
A charming story about Laon Cathedral, an important early Gothic church, and why it has sixteen life-sized statues of oxen on its towers.