Museum  August 28, 2018

Met's "Heavenly Bodies" Welcomes Millionth Visitor

© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View, Medieval Europe Gallery

Last week, The Costume Institute’s spring 2018 exhibition, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, welcomed its one millionth visitor, making it The Costume Institute’s most attended show ever and The Met’s third overall most attended. It replaces The Vatican Collections (1983) as number three, and is just behind Mona Lisa (1963). Treasures of Tutankhamun (1978) is The Met’s most attended show, with 1,360,957 visitors. Heavenly Bodies is on view at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters through October 8. 

In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018, The Met welcomed more than 7.35 million visitors to its three locations—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Cloisters, and The Met Breuer. It was the highest fiscal year attendance in the Museum’s recorded history, due in part to attendance for Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, which brought in more than 700,000 visitors during its run from November 13, 2017, through February 12, 2018, making it the 10th most attended show in the Museum’s history. 

© The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gallery View, Romanesque Hall

Heavenly Bodies, which opened to the public on May 10, is the largest exhibition that either The Costume Institute or The Met has ever mounted, covering 60,000 square feet in 25 galleries. Organized by Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, the exhibition spans The Met Fifth Avenue’s medieval galleries, Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries for Byzantine Art, part of The Robert Lehman Wing, and the Anna Wintour Costume Center, as well as The Met Cloisters in northern Manhattan. 

The thematic exhibition presents a dialogue between fashion and masterworks of medieval art in The Met collection to examine fashion’s ongoing engagement with the traditions of Catholicism. A group of papal robes and accessories from the Vatican serves as the cornerstone of the exhibition, highlighting the enduring influence of liturgical vestments on designers. The 42 ecclesiastical masterworks come from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, and many of them have never been seen outside the Vatican.

The exhibition is made possible by Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman, and Versace.

Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.