About the Exhibition

Connecting the Culture of the Middle Ages and the Present

“Juggling the Middle Ages” focuses on a medieval tale known often as Le Jongleur de Notre Dame or Our Lady’s Tumbler. The exhibit follows the story from its rediscovery by scholars in the 1870s to its modern interpretations in children’s books. Through its exploration of the many incarnations of the tale, the exhibit encourages 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 “Juggling the Middle Ages” exhibition is 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 new 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.



Our final gallery of featured objects is for the young and young-at-heart, featuring some of the surprising places that children pop up in our collection.

All Galleries


Exhibit Details

“Juggling the Middle Ages” is on display from October 16, 2018 – February 28, 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.