Posts Tagged ‘apples’

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Merry Winter Solstice to You All

Cloisters Candelabra

Above: The iron candelabra placed throughout the galleries of The Cloisters are decked with boxwood, ivy, apples, roses, and holly from mid-December until early January. This year’s decorations will be on view through Sunday, January 2. Photograph by Andrew Winslow.

WISHING YOU PEACE, PLENTY, AND EVERY GOOD THING IN THE COMING YEAR. 

—Deirdre Larkin and the staff of The Cloisters Museum & Gardens

Friday, February 6, 2009

February Fill-Dyke

February page from the Belles Heures February Activity: Warming Before the Fire The Zodiacal Sign of Pisces

Above, from left to right: Calendar page for February, from The Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry, 1405–1408/1409. Pol, Jean, and Herman de Limbourg (Franco-Netherlandish, active in France, by 1399–1416). French; Made in Paris. The Cloisters Collection, 1954 (54.1.1); detail of the activity for the month; detail of the zodiacal symbol Pisces. See the Collection Database to learn more about this work of art.

February fill dike
Be it black or be it white;
But if it be white,
The better to like.

—From John Ray’s A Collection of English Proverbs, 1670

Rain or snow, the month of February was associated with precipitation and uncertain weather, and abounded in weather lore. Fine weather on the medieval feast of Candlemas (February 2) signified a long winter, and rainy weather an early spring, long before the American institution of Groundhog Day. The groundhog who may or may not see his shadow had European antecedents in the German badger and the Swiss wolf. Read more »

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Decking the Halls: The Arches

boxwood-covered arches Preparing the ivy Decorated arch

Above, from left to right: boxwood-covered form for one of the Main Hall arches; preparing the ivy; a view of the decorated arch above the entry into the Romanesque Hall.

We have been working busily for the last few weeks preparing the holiday decorations that will deck the Museum from the first of December until the fifth of January. The decorations are made from natural materials, and all of the plant stuffs used were associated with the medieval celebration of Christmastide. This great feast embraced the twelve days between the Nativity and the Epiphany, which commemorated the visit of the Three Kings to the infant Jesus.

The wreaths and garlands on display are the work of many hands, and could not be fabricated by the Gardens staff without the help and enthusiasm of volunteers and other staff members who give up their lunch hours and their days off to help gather ivy, secure bay leaves and wheat ears to florist’s picks, and buff apples until they glow.

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