“In the Middle Ages, like today, play could be light-hearted but also be solemn, subversive, or even dangerous,” said Nava Streiter, curator of the exhibition and former intern in the Department of Manuscripts at the Getty Museum. “It was a source of joy and creativity, but also a way for individuals and communities to test themselves and develop new bonds.”
The exhibition will be interactive, allowing audiences to connect with medieval games and pastimes by participating in family-friendly activities throughout the gallery. Prompts will encourage audiences to engage with medieval images that depict such pastimes as dancing, jousting, dressing up, and checkers. To complement the exhibition, Getty will host two free family festivals, Medieval Play, on June 11 and July 9.
Play and Pastimes in the Middle Ages is curated by Nava Streiter, a former graduate intern at the Getty Museum, with assistance from Elizabeth Morrison, senior curator of manuscripts at the Getty Museum.