Costume Institute



The Costume Institute at the Met has a collection of more than thirty thousand objects. 

It represents seven centuries of dresses and accessories for men, women, and children.

The collection dates from the fifteenth century till the present.

In 1937, the Costume Institute began as the Museum of Costume Art, an independent entity. 

In 1946 the Museum of Costume Art merged with The Metropolitan Museum of Art as The Costume Institute.

It includes the world’s top holdings of American fashion from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. 

The combined institute now constitutes the world’s largest costume collection, offering an unmatched timeline of Western fashion history.

More than 33,000 items in the Costume Institute’s collection exhibit seven centuries of stylish clothing and accessories for men, women, and children.

After a two-year restoration, the revamped Costume Institute location reopened in May 2014 as the Anna Wintour Costume Center.

The major exhibition room in the complex has a flexible architecture that allows for frequent modification using video, music, and wireless technology. 

The Carl and Iris Barrel Apfel Gallery is also part of the Center and guides those visiting The Costume Institute’s displays. 

The Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library is one of the top fashion libraries in the world, a cutting-edge laboratory for costume restoration, and a study/storage space.

The Benefit ( Met Gala)

The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual fundraiser, called the Met Gala, is the funding source for the department.

On the first Monday of May each year, the gala is organized under the leadership of Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue.

The Met Gala is one of the most successful charity events. Attendees come from the worlds of fashion, film, society, sports, business, and music. 

The Met Gala, introduced in 1948, is now known as the “Fashion night of the year.” and is the creative effort of Eleanor Lambert.

The event started taking its current form in the early 1970s when former Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland joined the Costume Institute.

The Met Gala changed its dates to the first Monday in May in 1995 when Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour started to preside over it.

Every year on the night of the First Monday of May, celebrities in fashion, entertainment, and politics dress up in the most extravagant outfits made by the world’s top designers.

The top figures in fashion join together to dress the best and the brightest while raising money for the institution.

The celebrities are invited by Anna Wintour, who is very picky about the names that go on the guest list.

The attire worn at the Met Gala has a distinct aesthetic and is based on a unique theme in homage to the matching exhibit at the museum. 

If you wish to see all the fantastic costumes worn by all the celebrities, the Met sets up the exhibition after the Gala.

The entry to this can be done through the entry ticket.

The red carpet for the Met Gala is laid over the iconic steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Though tickets are invite-only, the costumes are set up after the gala in the costume institute for the public to see.

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