Costume Institute's Spring 2020 Exhibition to
Present a Disruptive Timeline of Fashion History
Costume Institute Benefit on May 4 with Co-Chairs
Nicolas Ghesquière, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emma Stone,
Meryl Streep, and Anna Wintour
(New York, November 7, 2019) The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that The Costume Institute's spring 2020 exhibition will be About Time: Fashion and Duration, on view from May 7 through September 7, 2020 (preceded on May 4 by The Costume Institute Benefit). Presented in The Met Fifth Avenue's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, it will trace more than a century and a half of fashion, from 1870 to the present, along a disruptive timeline, as part of the Museum's 150th anniversary celebration. Employing philosopher Henri Bergson's concept of la durée—time that flows, accumulates, and is indivisible—the exhibition will explore how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate the past, present, and future. The concept will also be examined through the writings of Virginia Woolf, who will serve as the "ghost narrator" of the exhibition. Michael Cunningham, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Hours, which was inspired by Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, will write a new short story for the exhibition catalogue that reflects on the concept of duration.
The exhibition is made possible by Louis Vuitton.
Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.
"This exhibition will consider the ephemeral nature of fashion, employing flashbacks and fast-forwards to reveal how it can be both linear and cyclical," said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. "As such, the show will present a nuanced continuum of fashion over the Museum's 150-year history."
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."
In celebration of the opening, 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 Costume Institute's main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and capital improvements.
Surreal, David Bailey (British, born 1938),
1980; Photo © David Bailey
The Met Fifth Avenue
The Met Breuer
The Met Cloisters