Met Names Costume Institute Complex in Honor of Anna Wintour

The Anna Wintour Costume Center will include the Costume Institute’s exhibition galleries, library, research areas, conservation laboratory and offices.

NEW YORK — Anna Wintour is a staunch supporter of The Costume Institute. Now, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is showing its appreciation for the love. On Tuesday, it named the space occupied at the museum by The Costume Institute the Anna Wintour Costume Center.

This story first appeared in the January 15, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The center will include The Costume Institute’s exhibition galleries, library, research areas, conservation laboratory and offices. It will be anchored by the 4,200-square-foot Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery. (The couple made a $10 million gift toward the renovation, with $1 million commitments from Janet and Howard Kagan and the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation.) The center will also include The Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library and the Carl and Iris Barrel Apfel Gallery, for example.

The curatorial department, headed by Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton, will continue to be called The Costume Institute.

Wintour’s contributions to the museum have been extensive. Since 1995, the Vogue editor in chief and Condé Nast artistic director has cochaired 15 Costume Institute benefits and for the past 14 years, she has also been a trustee of the museum.

She has raised about $125 million over the past two decades for The Costume Institute, and played an instrumental role in the $40 million redesign and two-year renovation of the complex, set to reopen to the public May 8 with the “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” exhibition.

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“Over the last 15 years, Anna has worked tirelessly on behalf of the museum,” Thomas Campbell, the museum’s director and chief executive officer, told WWD. He added that her support helped The Costume Institute “thrive and grow. It’s quite extraordinary and as an institution, we wanted to recognize [Wintour] in an exceptional way.”

The move is unprecedented in that the museum named a space after an individual who is solely an advocate and a fund-raiser, but not a donor.

“It’s a huge honor, and enormously humbling, to be given this recognition,” Wintour said. “I so believe in the Costume Center and all that it brings to the museum and to the cultural life of New York City. I look forward to many more years of working together.”

Campbell noted that the move does not signal a change or evolution in the role Wintour plays at The Costume Institute. “It enshrines our respect and gratitude for her past and present work in supporting The Costume Institute,” he said.

The museum will mark the new name for the public. “When you walk into The Costume Institute,” Campbell said, “you will see ‘Anna Wintour Costume Center’ in bold, bold letters above the staircase.”