News from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives: Historical Records of The Costume Institute Open for Research

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives announces the availability for research of 136 linear feet of historical records and administrative files of The Costume Institute, one of the world’s leading costume collections.  This material documents exhibitions, collections and programs of The Costume Institute from its founding in 1937 as the Museum of Costume Art, through its 1946 merger with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and up to the early 2000s.  The records include administrative and curatorial documents, scrapbooks and publicity materials on more than 100 special exhibitions staged between 1937 and 2008, among them many coordinated by special consultant Diana Vreeland such as “The World of Balenciaga” (1973), “Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design” (1974), “The Glory of Russian Costume” (1976), and “Vanity Fair” (1977).  This material provides an incomparable trove of information about the department to engage scholars in new dialogues and studies on costume history, fashion design, and associated fields. 

A complete inventory of the records is now available online:
For information about access to the physical materials at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives, contact archives@metmuseum or visit our website at
Processing of The Costume Institute records was funded by a generous grant from the Leon Levy Foundation, a private, not-for-profit foundation created from the estate of Leon Levy, an investor with a longstanding commitment to philanthropy. The Foundation’s overarching goal is to support scholarship at the highest level, ultimately advancing knowledge and improving the lives of individuals and society at large.

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