Revisiting the Cloisters Cross: A One-Day Colloquium

Revisiting the Cloisters Cross: A One-Day Colloquium

Held at The Courtauld on May 12, 2023

The Cloisters Cross is widely recognised as a masterpiece of late Romanesque art. Carved of walrus ivory, it appeared after World War II in a private collection and was subsequently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The earliest scholarly publications identified it as English, and that probably remains the majority opinion. However, over the years, other attributions have been suggested. What has become clear in the process is that the Cross merits study in the broad intellectual and artistic context of northern Europe, from the Ile de France up to Scandinavia, and England across to Germany.

This one-day colloquium, jointly held by the British Archaeological Association and The Courtauld, will review and extend the debates about the origins and history of the Cloisters Cross. Paper include:

  • ‘Through a glass darkly’: Seventy Years of Understanding and Misunderstanding the Cloisters Cross, by Charles T. Little
  • Reflections on the Cloisters Cross in a preaching context, by Sabrina Harcourt-Smith
  • Split Tooth: The Cloisters Cross and the Walrus Tusk, by Robyn Barrow
  • The British Museum and the Cloisters Cross, by Neil Stratford
  • ‘Synagoga, agnus dei’ and the Cloisters Cross, by Miri Rubin
  • The Cloisters Cross and the Sphere of Henry the Lion and Matilda of England, by Cecily Hennessy
  • The Oslo Corpus and the Cloisters Cross Revisited, by Sandy Heslop

Top Image: The Cloisters Cross, photo courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art