Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New York: The Metropolitan Museum – Heavenly Bodies

The Metropolitan Museum
Heavenly Bodies
“The Catholic imagination is rooted in and sustained by artistic practice, and fashion’s embrace of sacred images, objects, and customs continues the ever-evolving relationship between art and religion. The Museum’s collection of Byzantine and western medieval art, in combination with the architecture and galleries that house these collections and provide the perfect context for these remarkable fashions.”
Daniel H. Weiss,
President and CEO of The Met
Heavenly Bodies, is the Costume Institute's spring 2018 exhibition, at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters, until October 8, it is curated by Andrew Bolton and Wendy Yu.  It features a dialogue between fashion and medieval art from The Met collection to examine fashion's ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism. Serving as the cornerstone of the exhibition, papal robes and accessories from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside The Vatican, are on view in the Anna Wintour Costume Center. Fashions from the early twentieth century to the present are shown in the Byzantine and Medieval galleries, part of the Robert Lehman Wing, and at The Met Cloisters.
John Galliano - House of Dior
Autumn/winter - 2000–2001 - Haute Couture

photograph and copyright Manfredi Bellati

The Habit

Rossella Jardini – House of Moschino
Spring/Summer – 2014

“Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring and informing one another. Although this relationship has been complex and sometimes contested, it has produced some of the most inventive and innovative creations in the history of fashion.”
Andrew Bolton - Wendy Yu
Yves Saint Laurent
Statuary Vestment for the Virgin of El Rocío
- ca. 1985
Heavenly Bodies features the work of designers who for the most part were raised in the Roman Catholic tradition. While their current relationships to Catholicism vary, most acknowledge its enduring influence on their imaginations. On the surface, this influence is expressed through explicit Catholic imagery and symbolism as well as references to specific garments worn by the clergy and religious orders. On a deeper level, it manifests as a reliance on storytelling, and specifically on metaphor - which the sociologist Andrew Greeley describes as the essential characteristic of a particular sensibility he defines as "the Catholic imagination."

Christian Lacroix - Gold-Gotha
Autumn/Winter – 1988-1989 – Haute Couture

Christian Lacroix - Gold-Gotha
Autumn/Winter – 1988-1989 – Haute Couture

  Photograph and copyright by Manfredi Bellati

Jean Paul Gaultier
Spring/Summer – 1994
Tomb Effigy of Jacqueline de Ferriere
North French – c. 1275-1300

Alexander McQueen
Spring/Summer – 1999
Late Medieval Stained Glass
Altarpiece – North Italian c.1390-1400

Roberto Capucci
Angelo D’Oro
– 1987

Courtesy of the Collection of the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, Papal Sacristy, Vatican City - Digital composite scan by Katerina Jebb – courtesy The Met

Chasuble (back) of Pius XI  - (r. 1922–39) - 1926
The exhibition features approximately 40 ecclesiastical masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican. Encompassing more than 15 papacies from the 18th to the early 21st century, these masterworks are on view in the Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries and include papal vestments and accessories, such as rings and tiaras. The last time the Vatican sent a loan of this magnitude to The Met was in 1983, for The Vatican Collections exhibition, which is the Museum’s third most-visited show.

Christian Lacroix
Autumn/Winter 2009-10 –Haute Couture
Virgin and Child
Spanish Alterpiece 1400-1500

Jean Paul Gaultier
Ex-Voto Evening Ensemble - Spring/Summer -2007- Haute Couture

Donor Figures: King Queen and Prince
French – c. 1350

Celestrial Hierarchy
Capsule Collection 
Kate and Laura Mulleavy – Rodarte

Cristobal Balenciaga

Henri Matisse
Chasuble – c. 1950

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