About “Juggling the Middle Ages”

Connecting the Culture of the Middle Ages and the Present

“Juggling the Middle Ages,” an exhibit at Dumbarton Oaks that ran from October 16, 2018 through March 3, 2019, focused on a medieval tale known often as Le Jongleur de Notre Dame or Our Lady’s Tumbler. The exhibit followed the story from its rediscovery by scholars in the 1870s to its reimagining in late twentieth-century children’s books. By putting on display many incarnations of the tale, the installation encouraged viewers to reflect on the role of the Middle Ages in the fashioning of modern European and American identities through architecture, art, music, and other media.

The show was complemented by public lectures, a musical performance, and family-focused events, such as readings by authors of children’s literature. Learn more about the research behind the exhibit here, and explore titles related to the exhibit here.

Read the Story of the Juggler

Illustrated cover of Violet Moore Higgins' children's book, The Little Juggler, showing a boy in a jester's costume juggling rainbow-colored balls in an enclosed garden.

Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour of Juggling the Middle Ages in our online galleries.


Exhibit Details

“Juggling the Middle Ages” was up from October 16, 2018 – March 3, 2019, along with a full schedule of events.
Visit Dumbarton Oaks online for more about current exhibitions, or learn more about upcoming events at Dumbarton Oaks.