Pablo Starr is publisher of FWO and RNWY, and author of forthcoming RNWY: A Novel. Read about Pablo in The Huffington Post. (More info.)

Heavenly Somebodies

The Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted a press presentation on Monday, February 26, at Galleria Colonna in Rome, Italy, to reveal early details about The Costume Institute’s upcoming exhibition, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, opening on May 10.

Figures in attendance included Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone; and of course Anna Wintour.

Heavenly Bodies

02 Tiara of Pius IX 1877JPG
03 Mitre of Pius XI 1929JPG
04 Anna Wintour Donatella VersaceJPG
05 Donatella Versace Pierpaolo PiccioliJPG
06 Carrie Rebora BarrattJPG
07 Cardinal Gianfranco RavasiJPG
08 Stephen A SchwarzmanJPG
09 Andrew BoltonJPG
10 Cardinal Gianfranco RavasiJPG
11 Tiara of Pius IX 1871JPG
12 Mitre of Leo XIII 1887JPG
13 Mitre of Leo XIII 1887 JPG
14 Cope of Benedict XV 1918JPG
01 Donatella Versace Anna Wintour Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi Christine Schwarzman Stephen A Schwarzman Carrie Rebora Barratt Andrew BoltonJPG

Tiara of Pius IX

Mitre of Pius XI

Anna Wintour and Donatella Versace

Donatella Versace and Pierpaolo Piccioli

Carrie Rebora Barratt

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi

Stephen A. Schwarzman

Andrew Bolton

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi

Tiara of Pius IX

Mitre of Leo XIII

Mitre of Leo XIII

Cope of Benedict XV

From left: Donatella Versace, Anna Wintour, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, Christine Schwarzman, Stephen A. Schwarzman, Carrie Rebora Barratt, and Andrew Bolton

02 Tiara of Pius IX 1877JPG thumbnail
03 Mitre of Pius XI 1929JPG thumbnail
04 Anna Wintour Donatella VersaceJPG thumbnail
05 Donatella Versace Pierpaolo PiccioliJPG thumbnail
06 Carrie Rebora BarrattJPG thumbnail
07 Cardinal Gianfranco RavasiJPG thumbnail
08 Stephen A SchwarzmanJPG thumbnail
09 Andrew BoltonJPG thumbnail
10 Cardinal Gianfranco RavasiJPG thumbnail
11 Tiara of Pius IX 1871JPG thumbnail
12 Mitre of Leo XIII 1887JPG thumbnail
13 Mitre of Leo XIII 1887 JPG thumbnail
14 Cope of Benedict XV 1918JPG thumbnail
01 Donatella Versace Anna Wintour Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi Christine Schwarzman Stephen A Schwarzman Carrie Rebora Barratt Andrew BoltonJPG thumbnail
 

They were joined by The Met’s Deputy Director Carrie Rebora Barratt and Costume Institute Curator in Charge Andrew Bolton for a glimpse of some of the objects on loan from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel Sacristy.

These fascinating and gorgeous items will be featured in the exhibition, on view May 10–October 8, 2018, at The Met in New York City.

Exhibition Overview

The exhibition will feature approximately 50 ecclesiastical masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican. These will be on view in the Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries and will include papal vestments and accessories, such as rings and tiaras, from the 18th to the early 21st century, encompassing more than 15 papacies. 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.

In addition, approximately 150 ensembles, primarily womenswear, from the early 20th century to the present will be shown in the medieval galleries and The Met Cloisters alongside religious art from The Met collection, providing an interpretative context for fashion’s engagement with Catholicism. The presentation situates these designs within the broader context of religious artistic production to analyze their connection to the historiography of material Christianity and their contribution to the perceptual construction of the Catholic imagination.

Designers in the exhibition will include Azzedine Alaïa, Cristobal Balenciaga, Geoffrey Beene, Marc Bohan (for House of Dior), Thom Browne, Roberto Capucci, Callot Soeurs, Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Maria Grazia Chiuri (for House of Dior), Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana (for Dolce & Gabbana), John Galliano (for House of Dior), Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Craig Green, Madame Grès (Alix Barton), Rei Kawakubo (for Comme des Garçons), Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld (for House of Chanel), Jeanne Lanvin, Shaun Leane, Claire McCardell, Laura and Kate Mulleavy (for Rodarte), Thierry Mugler, Norman Norell, Guo Pei, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli (for Valentino), Pierpaolo Piccioli (for Valentino), Elsa Schiaparelli, Raf Simons (for his own label and House of Dior), Riccardo Tisci (for Givenchy), Jun Takahashi (for Undercover), Isabel Toledo, Philip Treacy, Donatella Versace (for Versace), Gianni Versace, Valentina, A.F. Vandevorst, Madeleine Vionnet, and Vivienne Westwood.

Exhibition Credits

The exhibition—a collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters—is organized by Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, working together with colleagues in The Met’s Medieval department: C. Griffith Mann, Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge of the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Senior Curator for The Met Cloisters; Helen C. Evans, Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art; and Melanie Holcomb, Curator.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), the interdisciplinary architecture and design firm, will create the exhibition design with The Met’s Design Department. Raul Avila will produce the gala décor, which he has done since 2007.

Related Content

A publication by Andrew Bolton will accompany the exhibition and will include texts by authors David Morgan and David Tracy in addition to new photography by Katerina Jebb. It will be published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

##

Learn More

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

With love,

FWO