The Cloisters is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a new show that explores the legend of the unicorn, a mythological animal that looks like a white horse with one large horn projecting from its forehead. In medieval times, the unicorn came to symbolize purity and was turned into an allegory for Christ. It was depicted in endless artworks, but the single most celebrated depiction of the hunt of the unicorn, the so-called “Unicorn Tapestries” are seven woven hanging textiles crafted in the 15th
century at the collection of the Cloisters. They were gifted to the Museum by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1938, forming the core of the museum’s collection. The myth of the unicorn and its Holy Hunt as it had been shaped during the Middle Ages is illustrated in these magnificent tapestries, and the narrative of the unicorn being hunted in a flowery forest, trying to defend himself, killed and brought to the Castle, and finally finds itself in heaven has captured the imagination of generations of art lovers; now it is shown at the Cloisters.