Tags for: Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders
  • Special Exhibition
A medieval maiden in front of a man with a crossbow and a man with a lance stabbing a monster (swallowing another man whose legs are in mouth of the monster)

Taming the Tarasque, from Hours of Henry VIII , in Latin (detail), c. 1500. Illuminated by Jean Poyer (French, active 1465-1503). Ink, tempera, and gold on vellum; 25.6 x 18 cm (10 1/16 x 7 1/16 in.). The Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of the Heineman Foundation, 1977, MS H.8 (fol. 191v)

Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders

Sunday, July 7–Sunday, October 6, 2019
Location:  004 Special Exhibition Gallery
The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Gallery

About The Exhibition

Monsters captivated the imagination of medieval men and women, just as they continue to fascinate us today. Drawing on the Morgan Library & Museum’s superb collection of illuminated manuscripts, this major exhibition— the first of its kind in North America—will explore the complex social role of monsters in the Middle Ages. Medieval Monsters will lead visitors through three sections based on the ways monsters functioned in medieval societies. “Terrors” explores how monsters enhanced the aura of those in power, be they rulers, knights, or saints. A second section, “Aliens,” demonstrates how marginalized groups in European societies—such as Jews, Muslims, women, the poor, and the disabled—were further alienated by being figured as monstrous. The final section, “Wonders,” considers a group of strange beauties and frightful anomalies that populated the medieval world. Whether employed in ornamental, entertaining, or contemplative settings, these fantastic beings were meant to inspire a sense of marvel and awe in their viewers.


Organized by the Morgan Library & Museum, New York


Supporting Sponsor

Logo type for the Woems Council with multiple ligatures of WC in a rosette


Media Sponsor

Advance Ohio: The Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com