NEW YORK — The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that its 2020 theme for the annual Met Gala and The Costume Institute’s Spring 2020 exhibition will be About Time: Fashion and Duration.
2020 will be a milestone for The Met, as it will be celebrating 150 years. The Costume Institute’s spring exhibition will showcase a century and a half of fashion, from 1870 to the present, along a disruptive timeline.
Philosopher Henri Bergson’s concept of la durée — time that flows, accumulates, and is indivisible — will be present, exploring how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate the past, present, and future.
The theme will also be examined through Virginia Woolf’s work. Woolf will will be the “ghost narrator,” with quotes from her time-based books, including Orlando, Mrs. Dalloway, and To the Lighthouse throughout the exhibit.
Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute stated, “What I like about Woolf’s version of time is the idea of a continuum. There’s no beginning, middle or end. […] I felt the same about fashion. Fashion is present.”
“Fashion […] reflects and represents the spirit of the times […] changes and develops with the times, serving as an […] accurate timepiece.”
Bolton goes on to say, “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 […] accurate timepiece.”
The exhibition will consider the fleeting nature of fashion, “employing flashbacks and fast-forwards to reveal how [fashion] can be both linear and cyclical,” said Max Hollien, Director of The Met.
In celebration with the opening, The Costume Institute Benefit, also known as The Met Gala, will take place on Monday, 4 May 2020. The evening’s co-chairs will be Nicolas Ghesquière, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, and Anna Wintour. This event is the Institute’s main source of annual funding.
The exhibit will be on view from 7 May 2020 through 7 September 2020, with member previews 5 May 2020 to 6 May 2020 at The Met Fifth Avenue, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, Floor 2.
The exhibition is made possible by Louis Vuitton. Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.