BY Dominique Price
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is the largest art museum in the United States.
This year’s attendance has been the highest attendance in the Museum’s recorded history, bringing in over seven million visitors to its three locations—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Cloisters, and The Met Breue.
According to The Associated Press, this is largely attributed to the museum’s Costume Institute’s “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” exhibit, which brought in 1,659,647 visitors between The Met Fifth avenue and The Met Cloisters.
The exhibition has broken the record for “Most-visited Exhibition,” beating out the massive 1978 King Tut show.
It is also the largest exhibition in the museum’s history, spanning 25 galleries and 60,000 square feet.
“The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the best museums I have ever been to and I found the “Heavenly Bodies” exhibit to be very interesting coming from a Catholic high school and now attending a Catholic university,” said junior Michael Lynch.
According to the museum’s website, “The Costume Institute’s spring 2018 exhibition 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.”
The exhibition journey begins in the Byzantine galleries of the Fifth Avenue location which features ancient religious art and architecture. It continues into the medieval galleries, with fashion that references the church’s hierarchies, including nuns and priests.
The exhibition journey ends at the Met Cloisters, where fashions are inspired by monasteries. It also features Catholic depictions of angels, the Virgin Mary and a bride.
Designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Gianni Versace, Alexander McQueen, Valentino and Dior, along with editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine, Anna Wintour contributed to the exhibition.
The Vatican approved of the exhibit and even lent the museum 50 garments and accessories for them to use.
The Costume Institute’s “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” exhibit became the theme for The Costume Institute Benefit, also known as The Met Gala in May.
Singer Ariana Grande wore a gown designed by Vera Wang, and model Gigi Hadid wore a gown designed by Gianni Versace.
Designer Maison Margiela designed an entire ensamble after the traditional garments of the Catholic Pope for singer Rihanna to wear to the Gala.
“I believe this outfit is one of a kind, iconic, and blessed. Only Rihanna could pull off an outfit like that with such grace and class, while keeping it fierce at the same time,” said sophomore Brandon Ricketts.
The Costume Institute’s benefit theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” became the museum’s most controversial theme to date, with some Catholics stating it was offensive to their faith.
The “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” exhibition was open from May 10, before closing this fall on Oct. 8.