Client: The Metropolitan Museum of Art & Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Project: The Costume Institute’s Heavenly Bodies Exhibition
Our Role: Design Engineering, Fabrication, and Installation
Description: Lauded as a groundbreaking showcase of fashion and art inspired by Catholicism, the Met Costume Institute’s spring 2018 exhibition Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination was its largest to-date, spanning 27 galleries in two locations, The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters.
Designed by the renowned architectural firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro with The Met’s Design Department, the exhibition examines fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism by presenting objects from The Met’s collection alongside papal robes and accessories from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican. Contemporary couture items are also presented in The Met’s Fifth Avenue galleries and the Met Cloisters.
New Project partnered with designers at The Met and DS+R to fabricate the exhibition’s 100+ custom pedestals, platforms, vitrines, and costume forms using concrete, steel, glass, and acrylic. Our team faithfully executed DS+R’s design details, such as the cruciform-shaped supports and custom steel finishes, to translate their architectural language and concepts into a reverential museum experience.
New Project began discussions with DS+R in late December of 2017 and was officially awarded the job in February 2018, allowing for only three months to design, prototype, fabricate, and install the high-profile exhibition. Occupying almost 60,000 square feet, the exhibition was by far the largest that New Project had built and installed for The Met.
Without a doubt the most photographed museum exhibition opening of the year, Heavenly Bodies, inspired the laic and devotional alike.
Visit The Met’s website to see us at work in their installation time-lapse video and tour the exhibition with the Costume Institute’s Head Curator, Andrew Bolton.
Photography by Brett Beyer.