Everson Museum of Art Opens “Bradley Walker Tomlin: A Retrospective,” a Major Retrospective Exhibition of the Syracuse Native

The Everson Museum of Art, in partnership with the Dorsky Museum, presents the first retrospective of American painter Bradley Walker Tomlin (1899-1953)

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Bradley Walker Tomlin, As They Walked Along Together, 1921 Pencil, ink, and gouache on paper, 14 in x 1 ¼ in. Everson Museum of Art Gift of Isabelle McConnel

since 1975. This major exhibition, including more than 40 paintings, works on paper, and printed materials, charts Tomlin’s development from Art Nouveau illustrations of the 1920s to large-scale Abstract Expressionist paintings of the 1950s, for which he is best known. Bradley Walker Tomlin: A Retrospective will be on view February 11 May 14, 2017. The exhibition originated at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, the State University of New York at New Paltz and is accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalog.

Born in Syracuse, NY in 1899 and active in New York City and Woodstock, Tomlin bridged two generations and participated in the evolution of American art from local modernism to international avant-garde. 

He participated in the famous ‘’Ninth Street Show.’’ According to John I. H. Baur, Curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art, “Tomlin’s life and his work were marked by a persistent, restless striving toward perfection, in a truly classical sense of the word, towards that “inner logic” of form which would produce a total harmony, an unalterable rightness, a

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Bradley Walker Tomlin. Photograph by Eugene Reynal

sense of miraculous completion…It was only during the last five years of his life that the goal was fully reached, and his art flowered with a sure strength and authority”.

Organized chronologically, Bradley Walker Tomlin: A Retrospective considers Tomlin’s accomplishments as an illustrator, educator, and modern painter as equally significant. Highlights include original cover designs for Condé Nast’s House & Garden magazine, decorative still life paintings, Cubist-Surrealist compositions, and major Abstract Expressionist canvases. Photographs of Tomlin and his professional peers and related archival materials reveal the artist’s contexts and influences.

A century ago, Syracuse native Bradley Walker Tomlin was considered one of the city’s most promising young artists. This exhibition not only serves to restore attention to a hometown talent but more importantly, to shed new light on a fascinating yet overlooked figure in the history of modern American art,” says Elizabeth Dunbar, Director, and CEO of the Everson Museum of Art Continue reading

Costume Institute’s Spring 2017 Exhibition at The Met to Focus on Rei Kawakubo and the “Art of the In-Between”

Costume Institute Benefit on May 1 with Co-Chairs Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, and Anna Wintour; and Honorary Chair Rei Kawakubo

Exhibition Dates: May 4–September 4, 2017

Member Previews: May 2–May 3, 2017

Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, Floor 2

As expected (and the most gossiped-about morsel of news during the European leg of the Spring/Summer 2017 womenswear fashion shows), The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that The Costume Institute’s Spring 2017 exhibition will be Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons, on view from May 4 through September 4, 2017 (preceded on May 1 by The Costume Institute Benefit). Presented in the Museum’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall on the second floor, the exhibition will examine Kawakubo’s fascination with interstitiality, or the space between boundaries. Existing within and between entities—self/other, object/subject, fashion/anti-fashion—Kawakubo’s work challenges conventional notions of beauty, good taste, and, ultimately, fashionability. Not a traditional retrospective, the thematic exhibition will be The Costume Institute’s first monographic show on a living designer since the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition in 1983.

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Image: Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969), “Body Meets Dress – Dress Meets Body,” spring/summer 1997. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, © Paolo Roversi

In blurring the art/fashion divide, Kawakubo asks us to think differently about clothing,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Met. “Curator Andrew Bolton will explore work that often looks like sculpture in an exhibition that will challenge our ideas about fashion’s role in contemporary culture.”

Rei Kawakubo said, “I have always pursued a new way of thinking about design…by denying established values, conventions, and what is generally accepted as the norm. And the modes of expression that have always been most important to me are fusion…imbalance… unfinished… elimination…and absence of intent.

The exhibition will be curated by Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, who will collaborate on the exhibition design with Rei Kawakubo. Nathan Crowley will serve as exhibition production designer for the fifth time, working in collaboration with The Met’s Design Department.

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2. Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969), “Body Meets Dress – Dress Meets Body,” spring/summer 1997. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, © Paolo Roversi

The exhibition will feature approximately 120 examples of Kawakubo’s womenswear designs for Comme des Garçons, dating from her first Paris runway show in 1981 to her most recent collection. Organized thematically rather than chronologically, the examples will examine Kawakubo’s revolutionary experiments in interstitiality or “in-betweenness”. By situating her designs within and between dualities such as East/West, male/female, and past/present, Kawakubo not only challenges the rigidity and artificiality of such binaries, but also resolves and dissolves them. To reflect this, mannequins will be arranged at eye level with no physical barriers, thereby dissolving the usual distance between objects on display and museum visitors.

Anna Cleveland

3. Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969), “Blue Witch,” spring/summer 2016 Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, © Paolo Roversi

Rei Kawakubo is one of the most important and influential designers of the past 40 years,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute. “By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, recreation, and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time.”

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4. Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969), “Not Making Clothing,” spring/summer 2014. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, © Paolo Roversi

In celebration of the opening, The Met‘s Costume Institute Benefit, also known as The Met Gala, will take place on Monday, May 1, 2017. The evening’s co-chairs will be Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, and Anna Wintour. Rei Kawakubo will serve as Honorary Chair. Raul Avila will produce the gala décor, which he has done since 2007. The event is The Costume Institute’s main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and capital improvements.met-logo

Special support for the exhibition and gala will come from Apple, Condé Nast, Farfetch, H&M, and Maison Valentino.

A publication, authored by Bolton and designed by Fabien Baron, will accompany the exhibition. It will be published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

A special feature on the Museum’s website, www.metmuseum.org/ReiKawakubo, provides information about the exhibition. Follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to join the conversation about the exhibition and gala. Use #MetKawakubo, #CostumeInstitute, and #MetGala on Instagram and Twitter.

752,995 Visitors to Costume Institute’s Manus x Machina Make It the 7th Most Visited Exhibition in The Met’s History

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, which closed yesterday, attracted 752,995 visitors during its run from May 5 to September 5, putting it in seventh place among the Museum’s most visited exhibitions, joining blockbusters such as Treasures of Tutankhamun (1978), Mona Lisa (1963), and Painters in Paris, 1895-1950 (2000). The show also becomes the second most visited Costume Institute exhibition, surpassing Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011), which had 661,509 visitors. China: Through the Looking Glass (2015) remains the department’s most popular show with 815,992 visitors and The Met’s fifth most visited. All three exhibitions were curated by Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute.

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House of Chanel (French, founded 1913) Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) Wedding Ensemble Autumn/winter 2014–15, haute couture Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection. This ensemble, which Lagerfeld has described as “haute couture without the couture,” exemplifies the confluence of the hand (manus) and the machine (machina). Made from scuba knit, a synthetic material, the dress is hand molded, machine sewn, and hand finished. Maison Desrues (founded 1929) hand embroidered the buttons with gold, glass, and crystals, and Atelier Montex (founded 1939) hand embroidered the medallion with glass, crystals, paillettes, anthracite cannetilles, and gold leather leaf motifs. The train of scuba knit and silk satin is machine sewn and hand finished. Lagerfeld’s hand-drawn design was digitally manipulated to give it the appearance of a randomized, pixelated baroque pattern and then realized through a complex amalgam of hand and machine techniques. Atelier Lunas (founded 1993) used a heat press to transfer the rhinestones; Atelier Anne Gelbard (founded 1997) painted the gold metallic pigment by hand; and the pearls and gemstones were hand embroidered by Cécile Henri Atelier (founded 1982).

Manus x Machina explored how designers reconcile the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. It addressed the distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) as discordant tools in the creative process, and questioned the changing delineation between the haute couture and ready-to-wear.

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Lower Level Gallery View: Tailleur and Flou © The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Far Left) House of CHANEL (French, founded 1913) Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (French, 1883–1971) Suit 1963–68, haute couture Machine-sewn ivory wool bouclé tweed, hand-applied navy and ivory wool knit trim handbraided with interlocking chain stitch Gift of Mrs. Lyn Revson, 1975 (1975.53.7a–e) (Next) House of CHANEL (French, founded 1913) Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) Suit Autumn/winter 2015–16, haute couture 3-D-printed (selective laser sintering) “quilted” polyamide by Materialise, hand-painted with blue, gold, and silver trompe l’oeil tweed pattern, hand-embroidered with braided white, blue, and gold wool, silk, and metal trim, and gold metal buttons with pearls Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection (Middle Right) House of CHANEL (French, founded 1913) Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) Ensemble Autumn/winter 2015–16, haute couture 3-D-printed (selective laser sintering) white polyamide overlay by Materialise, with handstitched clear crystals, lining of black silk crepe de chine hand-embroidered by Lesage with gold synthetic sequins Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection (Far Right) House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937) Cristóbal Balenciaga (Spanish, 1895–1972) Suit Winter 1964, haute couture Machine-sewn black silk synthetic gauze and Lurex matelassé Courtesy Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa, Getaria, Spain

We are thrilled that so many people from around the world experienced this exploration of the artistry of fashion,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Met. “The exhibition required the transformation of the Robert Lehman Wing into a domed cathedral-like space that invited people to slow down and contemplate the process and craft of the objects.

The exhibition, originally set to close on August 14, was extended by three weeks, and hours were added on September 2 and 3, when it stayed open until midnight, three hours past the usual 9:00 p.m. closing time on Friday and Saturday nights.

The exhibition was made possible by Apple. Additional support was provided by Condé Nast.the_met_logo

The exhibition is featured on the Museum’s website, www.metmuseum.org/ManusxMachina, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #ManusxMachina.

The Met Extends Hours for Final Weekend of Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology

Exhibition to Remain Open until Midnight on Friday and Saturday, September 2 and 3

Attendance Surpasses 2011’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Exhibition, with 664,328 Visitors to Date

Exhibition Dates: May 5–September 5, 2016 (extended from August 14)

Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Robert Lehman Wing

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Ensemble, Raf Simons (Belgian, born 1968) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947), spring/summer 2015 haute couture; Courtesy of Christian Dior Haute Couture Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today extended hours for the final weekend of the popular Costume Institute exhibition Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. On Friday, September 2, and Saturday, September 3, the exhibition will remain open to the public until midnight. The Museum normally closes at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings. The exhibition will end its run on Labor Day, Monday, September 5.

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Dress, Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984), autumn/winter 2013– 14 haute couture; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2015 (2016.14) Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

The exhibition, which opened on May 5, has already been extended by three weeks-from August 14 to September 5-and has so far drawn more than 664,328 visitors, surpassing 2011’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty to become The Costume Institute‘s second most attended exhibition. Last year’s China: Through the Looking Glass, which drew 815,992 visitors, remains the department’s most popular show and The Met’s fifth most visited exhibition. The McQueen exhibition, the Museum’s ninth most popular show, drew 661,509 visitors. All three were curated by Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute.

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Lower Level Gallery View: Tailleur and Flou © The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Far Left) House of CHANEL (French, founded 1913) Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (French, 1883–1971) Suit 1963–68, haute couture Machine-sewn ivory wool bouclé tweed, hand-applied navy and ivory wool knit trim handbraided with interlocking chain stitch. Gift of Mrs. Lyn Revson, 1975 (1975.53.7a–e) (Middle Left) House of CHANEL (French, founded 1913) Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) Suit Autumn/winter 2015–16, haute couture 3-D-printed (selective laser sintering) “quilted” polyamide by Materialise, hand-painted with blue, gold, and silver trompe l’oeil tweed pattern, hand-embroidered with braided white, blue, and gold wool, silk, and metal trim, and gold metal buttons with pearls. Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection (Middle Right) House of CHANEL (French, founded 1913) Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) Ensemble Autumn/winter 2015–16, haute couture 3-D-printed (selective laser sintering) white polyamide overlay by Materialise, with handstitched clear crystals, lining of black silk crepe de chine hand-embroidered by Lesage with gold synthetic sequins Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection (Far Right) House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937) Cristóbal Balenciaga (Spanish, 1895–1972) Suit Winter 1964, haute couture Machine-sewn black silk synthetic gauze and Lurex matelassé Courtesy Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa, Getaria, Spain

Manus x Machina explores how designers reconcile the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. It addresses the distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) as discordant tools in the creative process, and questions the changing delineation between haute couture and ready-to-wear.

14.MxM,CaseStudy,ChanelWeddingEnsemble

House of Chanel (French, founded 1913) Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) Wedding Ensemble Autumn/winter 2014–15, haute couture Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection. This ensemble, which Lagerfeld has described as “haute couture without the couture,” exemplifies the confluence of the hand (manus) and the machine (machina). Made from scuba knit, a synthetic material, the dress is hand molded, machine sewn, and hand finished. Maison Desrues (founded 1929) hand embroidered the buttons with gold, glass, and crystals, and Atelier Montex (founded 1939) hand embroidered the medallion with glass, crystals, paillettes, anthracite cannetilles, and gold leather leaf motifs. The train of scuba knit and silk satin is machine sewn and hand finished. Lagerfeld’s hand-drawn design was digitally manipulated to give it the appearance of a randomized, pixelated baroque pattern and then realized through a complex amalgam of hand and machine techniques. Atelier Lunas (founded 1993) used a heat press to transfer the rhinestones; Atelier Anne Gelbard (founded 1997) painted the gold metallic pigment by hand; and the pearls and gemstones were hand embroidered by Cécile Henri Atelier (founded 1982).

 

During the extended hours, the Museum’s Great Hall Balcony Bar will be open until midnight as well, with appetizers, full bar service, and music by the ETHEL and Friends string quartet. The Met Store‘s exhibition shop adjacent to the galleries will also be open, featuring a range of products inspired by the exhibition, including the exhibition catalogue and an exclusive collection of fashion accessories, jewelry, and publications. The Manus x Machina galleries will be the only galleries in the Museum open to the public during the extended hours.

The Met Celebrates 400 Years of Religious Diversity With “Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven” This Fall

September 26, 2016–January 8, 2017

Exhibition Location: The Tisch Galleries, Gallery 899

Beginning around the year 1000, Jerusalem attained unprecedented significance as a location, destination, and symbol to people of diverse faiths from Iceland to India. Multiple competitive and complementary religious traditions, fueled by an almost universal preoccupation with the city, gave rise to one of the most creative periods in its history.

Opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 26, the landmark exhibition Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven will demonstrate the key role that the Holy City, sacred to the three Abrahamic faiths, played in shaping the art of this period. In these centuries, Jerusalem was home to more cultures, religions, and languages than ever before. Through times of peace as well as war, Jerusalem remained a constant source of inspiration that resulted in art of great beauty and fascinating complexity.

Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven is the first exhibition to unravel the various cultural traditions and aesthetic strands that enriched and enlivened the medieval city. The exhibition will feature some 200 works of art from 60 lenders worldwide. More than four dozen key loans come from Jerusalem’s diverse religious communities, some of which have never before shared their treasures outside their walls.

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The Virgin and Apostle Capital, Early 1170s, Limestone a. 24 7/16 × 28 3/8 × 13 3/8 in. (62 × 72 × 34 cm) b. 16 9/16 × 21 1/4 × 18 1/2 in., 355 lb. (42 × 54 × 47 cm, 161 kg) Terra Sancta Museum, Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth. Image: © Marie-Armelle Beaulieu /Custodia Terræ Sanctæ

The exhibition represents a collaborative partnership between Barbara Drake Boehm, the Paul and Jill Ruddock Senior Curator for The Met Cloisters, and Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters and will examine six specific factors that made medieval Jerusalem an exceptional source of artistic inspiration:

The Pulse of Trade and Tourism: Often understood as the crossroads of the known world, Jerusalem was a thriving urban center, teeming with locals and tourists, new arrivals and long-timers, merchants and artists, soldiers and scholars. The exhibition will evoke the many wares of the marketplace, including ceramics produced locally and imported from as far away as China. Textiles on view will reconstruct the fashion sensibilities of Jerusalem’s residents, including, surprisingly perhaps, their predilection for printed cottons from the Indian subcontinent. The shared taste of the region’s wealthy inhabitants confounds efforts to distinguish the owners’ identities, let alone their ethnic or religious heritage. Jewels that are recognizably Islamic in technique correspond to contemporary descriptions of the trousseaux of Jewish brides. A remarkable gathering of Cross reliquaries speak to the links between Jerusalem and Europe.

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Chasse of Ambazac, From the Treasury of Grandmont, Limoges, ca. 1180 – 90; Gilded copper, champlevé enamel, rock crystal, semiprecious stones, faience, and glass H. 23⅛ in. (58.6 cm), W. 31⅛ in. (79 cm), D. 10¼ in. (26.2 cm) Mairie d ’Ambazac. Image: © Region Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes, Service de l’Inventaire et du Patrimoine Culturel (photograph by Philippe Rivière, 1993)

The Diversity of Peoples: Dozens of denominations and communities contributed to the artistic and spiritual richness of the city. The historical record surrounding medieval Jerusalem—a “city of foreigners”— includes both harmonious and dissonant voices from many lands: Persians, Turks, Greeks, Syrians, Armenians, Georgians, Ethiopians, Indians, and Europeans from each of the Abrahamic faith traditions passed in the narrow streets of the city—not much larger than midtown Manhattan. Visitors will be astonished, for example, by the numerous distinct alphabets and different languages of prayer. Exemplifying this will be Christian Gospel books in Arabic, Greek, Armenian, and Syriac, a Samaritan Bible in a distinctive Hebrew script, and the biblical book of Kings in Ge’ez, the language of Ethiopia, given by that land’s king to his community in Jerusalem. Continue reading

Famed Portraits Of Benjamin Franklin By Duplessis On View In Focus Exhibition At The Met

Exhibition Dates: August 22–November 28, 2016

Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, European Paintings, Gallery 624, 2nd floor

Several works depicting the brilliant writer, inventor, politician, patriot, and statesman Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), who has been the subject of hundreds of portraits, will go on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in a focused exhibition opening on August 22. The most famous of these was painted by Joseph Siffred Duplessis (1725–1802), Louis XVI’s official portraitist, after Franklin arrived in Paris in 1776 to seek French support for the American war of independence. Portraying Franklin in a red coat with a fur collar, and with an astonishingly elaborate frame decorated with his attributes, the oval painting was greatly admired when Duplessis exhibited it at the 1779 Paris Salon.

Benjamin Franklin - Portraits by Duplessis,

Joseph Siffred Duplessis (French, Carpentras 1725–1802 Versailles). Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790). 1778. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931.

The painting, which has been in The Met collection for 85 years, will be a focal point of the installation Benjamin Franklin: Portraits by Duplessis, along with the preliminary pastel portrait of Franklin, a life study by Duplessis. The pastel, which is rarely exhibited and will be on loan from the New York Public Library, shows Franklin in the same pose as the painting but wearing a gray, collarless jacket and waistcoat. The image will be familiar to many: it is the same likeness that is replicated on the current one-hundred-dollar bill. The installation will also explore the processes of image transfer and replication in the 18th century.

Franklin arrived in Paris on December 21, 1776, as a commissioner of the American Continental Congress, and lived in nearby Passy until he returned to America in 1785. He the met's logopromoted the treaty of alliance between the fledgling nation and the government of Louis XVI that was signed on February 6, 1778. The American Revolutionary War was an enormously popular cause in France, where the elderly statesman’s simplicity of dress and manner were admired. The “Fur Collar Portrait,” or “VIR Portrait,” by Duplessis was commissioned by the entrepreneur Jacques Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont. The oval canvas, exhibited in the frame in which it is still displayed, became the object of extravagant praise. Versions from the artist’s workshop and by other hands were in demand and the portrait was replicated dozens of times. A fine replica by or after Duplessis, also belonging to The Met, is so close in design that the contours must have been transferred from the 1778 picture.

Franklin understood the importance of circulating his image and gave sittings to some half-dozen French artists, but he did not enjoy doing so. He did not wish to sit for the same painter twice, sending away in later years those who applied to him for an original and suggesting that they instead commission a copy. An X-radiograph of the “Fur Collar Portrait” reveals that Franklin’s coat was originally much simpler, with small buttons and a narrow collar. In this connection, the exhibition will draw attention to the Duplessis pastel portrait of Franklin that was given to the New York Public Library in 1896. For more than a century, the pastel has been conscientiously protected from damage due to overexposure to light and thus has rarely been exhibited. Traditionally, the pastel had been assigned to the early 1780s, but technical examination reveals that it dates to 1777 or early 1778 and is preliminary to the “Fur Collar Portrait“—its design precisely matches the composition revealed in the painting’s X-radiograph. Pastel is a portable medium, and Duplessis probably took his pastel crayons to Passy to set down the direct likeness of Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin: Portraits by Duplessis is organized by Katharine Baetjer, Curator in the Department of European Paintings at The Met.

Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology Extended through September 5 at The Met

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Lower Level Gallery View: Tailleur and Flou © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology at The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been extended by three weeks through Labor DayMonday, September 5. The exhibition, organized by The Costume Institute, opened to the public on May 5, and has drawn more than 350,000 visitors in its first nine weeks. Originally scheduled to close on August 14, the exhibition explores how designers reconcile the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. It addresses the distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) as discordant tools in the creative process, and questions the changing delineation between the haute couture and ready-to-wear. 

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Upper Level Gallery View: Embroidery © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Ensemble, Raf Simons (Belgian, born 1968) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947), spring/summer 2015 haute couture; Courtesy of Christian Dior Haute Couture Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

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Dress, Iris van Herpen (Dutch, born 1984), autumn/winter 2013– 14 haute couture; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2015 (2016.14) Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

With the transformation of the Robert Lehman Wing into a breathtaking cathedral to couture, we want to give as many people as possible the chance to experience this exhibition,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Met.The show invites visitors to explore the artistry of over 170 haute couture and ready-to-wear ensembles. It is a wonderful way to discover the magic behind the making of fashion.”

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Upper Level Gallery View: Artificial Flowers © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Upper Level Gallery View: Embroidery © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Upper Level Gallery View: Embroidery © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

To date, the exhibition’s attendance is just behind China: Through the Looking Glass (2015) and Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011), the Met’s fifth and eighth most popular exhibitions respectively, both of which were also extended. All three were curated by Andrew Bolton, now Curator in Change of The Costume Institute. China: Through the Looking Glass attracted 815,992 visitors in total, and Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty drew 661,509.

Traditionally, the distinction between the haute couture and prêt-à-porter was based on the handmade and the machine-made, but recently this distinction has become increasingly blurred as both disciplines have embraced the practices and techniques of the other,” said Bolton. “Manus x Machina challenges the conventions of the hand/machine dichotomy and proposes a new paradigm germane to our age of technology.

Manus x Machina features more than 170 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear, dating from the early 1900s to the present. The exhibition addresses the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of industrialization and mass production. It explores this ongoing dichotomy, in which hand and machine are presented as discordant tools in the creative process, and questions this relationship and the significance of the long-held distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear.

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Wedding ensemble, Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913), autumn/winter 2014–15 haute couture, back view; Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

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Wedding ensemble, Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913), autumn/winter 2014–15 haute couture, back view; Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

The Robert Lehman Wing galleries, on the Museum’s first floor and ground level, have been transformed into a building-within-a-building using white scrims. The space houses a series of case studies in which haute couture and ready-to-wear ensembles are decoded to reveal their hand/machine DNA. A 2014 haute couture wedding dress by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel with a 20-foot train occupies a central cocoon, with details of its embroidery projected onto the domed ceiling. The scuba knit ensemble, one of the inspirations for the exhibition, stands as a superlative example of the confluence between the handmade and the machine-made–the pattern on the train was hand-painted with gold metallic pigment, machine-printed with rhinestones, and hand-embroidered with pearls and gemstones.

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Upper Level Gallery View: Artificial Flowers Case Study Wedding Ensemble, Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913), autumn/winter 2005–6 haute couture, back view; Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Dress, Nicolas Ghesquière (French, born 1971) for House of Balenciaga (French, founded 1937), spring/summer 2003 prêtà- porter; Courtesy of Balenciaga Archives, Paris Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

13.WeddingEnsemble,KarlLagerfeldforHouseofChanel,Autumn2005

Wedding Ensemble, Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913), autumn/winter 2005–6 haute couture; Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

The exhibition is structured around the traditional métiers of the haute couture. The first floor unfolds as a series of alcoves, examining the petites mains workshops of embroidery, featherwork, and artificial flowers. The ground floor space is arranged as an enfilade, examining pleating, lacework, and leatherwork. A room dedicated to toiles and the ateliers of tailoring (tailleur) and dressmaking (flou)—the traditional division of a maison de couture—anchors the ground-floor gallery. On both floors, traditional hand techniques are discussed alongside innovative technologies such as 3-D printing, computer modeling, bonding and laminating, laser cutting, and ultrasonic welding.

Designers in the exhibition include Cristobal Balenciaga, Boué Soeurs, Sarah Burton (Alexander McQueen), Pierre Cardin, Hussein Chalayan, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli (Valentino), André Courrèges, Giles Deacon, Christian Dior, Alber Elbaz (Lanvin), Mariano Fortuny, John Galliano (Christian Dior, Maison Margiela), Jean Paul Gaultier, Nicolas Ghesquière (Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton), Hubert de Givenchy, Madame Grès, Halston, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough (Proenza Schouler), Iris van Herpen, Marc Jacobs (Louis Vuitton), Charles James, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons), Junko Koshino, Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel), Helmut Lang, Louise Boulanger, Mary McFadden, Alexander McQueen (Givenchy), Issey Miyake, Noir Kei Ninomiya (Comme des Garçons), Norman Norell, Jean Patou, Miuccia Prada, Paul Poiret, Gareth Pugh, Paco Rabanne, Noa Raviv, Yves Saint Laurent (Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent), Raf Simons (Christian Dior), Maiko Takeda, Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy), threeASFOUR, Madeleine Vionnet, Catherine Wales, Junya Watanabe (Comme des Garçons), Yohji Yamamoto, and others.

10.Dress,ChristopherKane,Spring2014

Dress, Christopher Kane (British, born 1982), spring/summer 2014 prêt-à-porter; Courtesy of Christopher Kane. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

On July 22, MetFridays: Extreme Measures (5–9 pm) will include a number of related activities, including a special Drop-in Drawing session featuring live models wearing clothing inspired by the exhibition, a wearable art-making program on creating extreme hair accessories, and a participatory nail art workshop.

Manus x Machina is organized by Bolton. Shohei Shigematsu, Director of OMA New York, led the exhibition design in collaboration with The Met’s Design Department. The exhibition is made possible by Apple. Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.