Embodying philosopher Henri Bergson’s concept time that flows, accumulates, and is indivisible—the exhibition will explore how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate the past, present, and future. Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s novels Orlando and Mrs. Dalloway, the story will recount a day in the life of a woman while evoking a span of 150 years, a duration the reader understands through changes of clothes and circumstance, also Michael Cunningham, A publication by Andrew Bolton will accompany the exhibition and feature a new short story by Michael Cunningham. The publication will be designed by Joseph Logan and will include new photography by Nicholas Alan Cope. It will be published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.
The Costume Institute Benefit, also known as The Met Gala, will take place on Monday, May 4, 2020. The evening’s co-chairs will be Nicolas Ghesquière, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, and Anna Wintour. The event is the main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and capital improvements. featuring approximately 160 examples of women’s fashion dating from 1870 to the present. The majority of objects in the show will come from The Costume Institute’s collection, including gifts made as part of The Met’s 2020 Collections Initiative in celebration of the Museum’s 150th anniversary. For example, a black silk faille princess-line dress from the late 1870s will be paired with an Alexander McQueen “Bumster” skirt from 1995, and a black silk velvet bustle ensemble from the mid-1880s will be juxtaposed with a Comme des Garçons “Body Meets Dress – Dress Meets Body” dress from 1997.
The exhibition will conclude with a section on the future of fashion, linking the concept of duration to debates about longevity and sustainability. Presented in The Met Fifth Avenue’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, as part of the Museum’s 150th-anniversary celebration, it will discern more than a century and a half of fashion, from 1870 to the present timeline. The Costume Institute’s spring 2020 exhibition About Time: Fashion and Duration, occurs May 7 through September 7, 2020 (preceded on May 4 by The Costume Institute Benefit).
Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, said: “Fashion is indelibly connected to time. It not only reflects and represents the spirit of the times, but it also changes and develops with the times, serving as an especially sensitive and accurate timepiece. Through a series of chronologies, the exhibition will use the concept of duration to analyze the temporal twists and turns of fashion history.”
The exhibition is made possible by Louis Vuitton. Additional support is provided by Condé Nast. Organized by Andrew Bolton with support from Amanda Garfinkel, Assistant Curator, and Jan Reeder, Curatorial Consultant. Visual artist and stage designer Es Devlin, known for creating large-scale performative sculptures and environments that fuse light, music, and language, will create the exhibition design with The Met’s Design Department. Landscape architect Miranda Brooks will consult on The Met Gala décor with Raul Avila, who has produced the décor since 2007.
For more information regarding the exhibition, please visit www.metmuseum.org/AboutTime Join the conversation about the exhibition and gala at Facebook.com/metmuseum, Instagram.com/metmuseum, and Twitter.com/metmuseum Use #MetAboutTime, #CostumeInstitute, @MetCostumeInstitute, and #MetGala on Instagram and Twitter.