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The Tapestries at the Cloisters

Sarah J. Albertini Danielle M. Pastor
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The Cloisters is a twentieth century museum designed specifically to display art created in the Middle Ages. A branch of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters displays an astounding variety of art, both in scope and texture. Included in the showcase of Gothic art are two sets of breathtaking tapestries known as the Unicorn tapestries and the Nine Heroes tapestries. 

Tapestries were originally designed to protect medieval rooms from damp and cold weather. Due to their size and intricacy, tapestries became investments and displays of wealth and power. Although slightly damaged due to time and mishandling, the tapestries still express the exquisite beauty and detail originally woven. 

The following information is about the Unicorn and Nine Heroes Tapestries. At the end of this page are numerous links to web pages pertaining to our work on the tapestries, medieval history, Fordham University, and information about where you can buy a tapestry of your own. 
World Wide Web Links 
To buy your very own tapestry, try:- 
  • Beer, Rudiger Robert, trans. by Charles M. Stern, Unicorn: Myth and Reality. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1972. 
  • Cavallo, Adolfo Salvatore, Medieval Tapestries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. 
  • Freeman, Margaret B. The Unicorn Tapestries. New York: Metroplitan Museum of Art. 1956. 
  • Hunter, George Leland. Tapestries: Their Origin, History, and Renaissance. New York: John Lane Co. 1912. 
  • Lindbergh, Anne Morrow. The Unicorn and Other Poems, 1935-1955. New York, Pantheon, 1956. 
  • Rorimer, James, J. The Cloisters, 3rd ed., New York The Met 1963. 
  • Young, Bonnie. A Walk Through the Cloisters. New York: the met 1988. 
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Site Author: Sarah Albertine and Danielle pastor, Project for "Introduction to Medieval History", Fordham University, Spring 1997

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 20 January 2021 [CV]