Love Note #89: Kristina Jenkins loves the history and ethereal atmosphere of the Cloisters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Kristina Jenkins
Favorite Spot: The Cloisters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art 
Neighborhood: Fairmount/Parkway Museum District
Address: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

I am: As the editor of Where Philadelphia magazine, I’m a tenacious cheerleader for all things Philly-centric and devoted to providing my visitor-readers with a uniquely local experience. Personally, I am known for being a fan of the finer things in life—particularly food, drink, art and fashion.
Years in Philly: I spent my childhood in the Philadelphia suburbs, and moved back to live in Center City two years ago.
Current home: Washington Square West

My love note: I don’t remember the first time I visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but my mother tells me I was a wee thing of just three or four. My second visit to the great bastion of Philadelphia art at age 14 or so was much more memorable, however, and the feeling of youth is wrapped up in why I love those hallowed halls, specifically the medieval “Cloister with Elements from the Abbey of Saint-Genis-des-Fontaines.” I was on a school field trip, surrounded by friends and teachers, but somehow I ended up wandering into the Cloister alone. Experiencing that history and ethereal atmosphere all by myself altered my little existence somehow, and opened me up to the unexplainable joys great cultural experiences can impart. The exhibit itself is fairly simple—there are no sweeping landscapes, lifelike Madonnas or jarring canvases—just ancient marble transported from southwestern France and reconstructed here in Philly. But with the water making music from the fountain in the center of the room, the ceiling painted not in frescoes, but to resemble the sky, the exhibit transports. I love the space not only for the gorgeous ancient architecture, but also for the tranquil otherworldly atmosphere imbued the room. It might be ironic that one of my most beloved spots in Philadelphia takes me beyond the city, but perhaps it’s that transformative spirit that makes that room so special. No matter how many times I visit the Museum, which I’m fortunate to say is fairly often thanks to my line of work, each time I’m able to visit the Cloisters the feeling of awe returns, undiluted.


Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Art Museum 1 Comment

One Response to Love Note #89: Kristina Jenkins loves the history and ethereal atmosphere of the Cloisters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

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