From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

The Met Just Revealed the Theme for Its 2020 Costume Exhibit

And it’s very…timely.

MOST READ ARTS
Reclining in her living room.

Film and TV

Saying Yes

Celebrity chef Carla Hall on food, freedom, and always keeping an open mind.

ABT principal dancers Calvin Royal III and Christine Shevchenko as Siegfried and Odette in “Swan Lake.”

Performance

On Pointe

One of New York City’s most venerable cultural institutions returns to the stage.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, leaning against a shelf inside the Drama Book Shop.

Performance

Selling the Drama

A conversation with Lin-Manuel Miranda on theater, creativity, and the endless...

A lot of things make New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art one of the world’s best and must-visit museums and its annual Costume Institute exhibit is definitely one of them.

Who can forget the extraordinary Savage Beauty exhibition in 2011 that celebrated the late Alexander McQueen and that was so successful that it had people line up for four hours to see it (the museum also famously stayed open until midnight for the first time in its history)? And how about the groundbreaking Heavenly Bodies exhibition in 2018, that examined fashion’s engagement with Catholicism? It attracted over 1.6 million people and became the museum’s most visited exhibition ever. So could the 2020 show beat this record?

This morning, the museum announced that its spring 2020 exhibition will be called About Time: Fashion and Duration. The theme was influenced by the fact that the museum is celebrating its 150th anniversary next year.

“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...” the museum announced.

“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 museum stated.

To make things even more special, Virginia Woolf, through her writings, will serve as the “ghost narrator” of the exhibition.
The museum also announced that About Time: Fashion and Duration will “feature approximately 160 examples of women’s fashion dating from 1870—the year of The Met’s founding and the start of a decade that witnessed the development of a standardized time system—to the present.” Longevity and sustainability will also be part of the conversation, as the exhibit will conclude with a section on the future of fashion.

The exhibition will be on display from May 7 until September 7, 2020.

Newsletter

Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.