Art and history fans have a great reason to head up to Northern Manhattan this Spring: Six near-life-size stained glass panels from England's Canterbury Cathedral will be on display in the exhibition Radiant Light: Stained Glass from Canterbury Cathedral, which opens tonight (February 25) and will run through May 18 at The Cloisters-a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Washington Heights’s Fort Tryon Park.
The panels come from one of the few surviving series of medieval stained glass, and the exhibition (which was previously in Los Angeles) represents the first time they have left the cathedral precincts since they were first created. (That was between 1178 and 1180, for the record.)
Luxury Travel Advisor got to head up to the Cloisters for a special preview of the exhibit, and we say it was worth the trip: The exhibit is a once-in-a-lifetime event (and we mean that literally—Dr. Robert Willis, dean of Canterbury Cathedral, said that the windows will probably not leave the Cathedral again in our lifetime) and by displaying the stained glass in a re-built medieval setting, art fans can see the windows in as close to their original setting as possible without heading to England.
The exhibit is also especially timely. The Cloisters museum is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year: In the 1930s, the structure was created from parts from five European abbeys that were disassembled and shipped to Northern Manhattan to be recreated together with original buildings in the medieval style. The museum celebrates the art and architecture of the Middle Ages, and is a must-visit for anyone interested in the era.
While in the area, be sure to swing by the New Leaf Cafe: Founded by Bette Midler, the restaurant is Michelin-rated and uses locally sourced and organic ingredients. (The weekend brunch is a great value, especially in the spring when the terrace is open. One can sit outside surrounded by Fort Tryon Park and completely forget the city down the hill.