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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : The Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 307

The MET : Gallery 307 : Secular Works

Art From Us, Museum Guide #578

Art From Us presents a must-see Museum Guide daily, where we showcase specific artworks in specific museums – from across the globe. Today, for Art From Us, Museum Guide #578 the spotlight is on the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the MET) NY’s Gallery 307. Showcasing a collection of Secular Works.

The three works in focus are :

  1. Bookcase, from the 15th century.
  2. Comb, from the 15th – 16th century.
  3. Knife case, from the 15th – 16th century.

The significance of the 3 works chosen for Art From Us, Museum Guide #578

Welcome to the Art From Us, Museum Guide #578.

Since the objects chosen today for Art From Us, Museum Guide #579 allude to the routine life of  , we would like to take this opportunity to present a few facts about their lifestyle :

Garde L’eau!

This popular phrase was coined in the Middle Ages. People used to empty their chamber pots (pots used to collect human excrement) from their windows, right into the middle of the street. As a kind gesture to warn passersby and keep them from forcefully bathing in human excrement, they yelled “Garde L’eau” – a french phase which roughly translates to “beware the water.”

Chastity Belts

Albeit unthinkable now, chastity belts were not just a reality but almost the norm in the Middle Ages. Chastity belts were used to secure a woman’s genitals to ensure that she doesn’t, or rather can’t engage romantically with any man other than her husband. The concept probably evolved from the need to men to control their wives while they were away at war.

Men’s Clothing

In the Middle Ages, men’s fashion took a turn for the weird. Men, especially in England, paraded around in tight stockings and short tunics that displayed their groin area and highlighted their belly.

Check our Art From Us, Museum Guide #579 to know more about the European Middle Ages.

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