THE ART OF THE MATTER: Valentino is said to be the focus of a yet-to-be-disclosed exhibition that is being planned at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Executives at Valentino deferred comment to the Brooklyn Museum of Art Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the museum declined to comment.
Valentino would be a sound choice for a retrospective. The work of the company’s founder Valentino Garavani has not been showcased extensively by a major museum since he stepped down in 2007. While the house may prefer not to focus on his successor Alessandra Facchinetti’s yearlong run, the work of current creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli is worth celebrating. Highlights from his tenure with former co-creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri would be worth a gander, too. As more museums offer digitally enhanced features to their exhibitions, Garavani was an early adopter. In 2011, he and his business partner Giancarlo Giammetti unveiled a virtual museum, looking back at the designer’s 50-year career.
A Valentino show may be unveiled at the museum later this year, following the “Studio 54: Night Magic” exhibition, which will be staged in Brooklyn March 13 through July 5. Like other museums across the globe, the Brooklyn Museum of Art has been using fashion-themed shows as a means to boost attendance and attract new patrons. Its timed and ticketed “Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion” show ended a five-month run Monday. And the museum started last year with another style-centric show, “Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving,” which ran Feb. 8 through May 12.
On another front, Target has ended its long-running alliance with the Brooklyn Museum of Art, called “Target First Saturdays,” a monthly free night out that attracted thousands. A Target spokesman said Tuesday, “Target is proud to have supported the Brooklyn Museum for nearly 20 years, providing access to the arts.” The retailer continues to support Brooklyn through its local grants for such groups as Literacy Inc. and by Target team members volunteering in the community through programs like Edible Schoolyard NYC, the spokesman said.
Fashion is increasingly becoming a major attraction for many art museums. Beyoncé and Jay-Z helped boost attendance figures at the Louvre to 10.2 million visitors in 2018, by shooting their “Ape**t” music video there. Visitors to the museum in Paris can relive the video by taking the Jay-Z and Beyoncé “visitor trail,” a 90-minute tour that highlights the art featured in the video. The Louvre, which raked in 9.6 million visitors last year, enlisted Virgil Abloh to create a capsule collection that was unveiled last month. For the “Leonardo da Vinci” exhibition, the museum unveiled a collaborative Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh collection of clothing. Fascinated with the artist since his senior year at the University of Wisconsin, Abloh’s creations are meant to celebrate da Vinci’s life and works on the 500th anniversary of his death.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute attracted nearly 1.66 million visitors to “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” in 2018. That turnout made it the museum’s most visited exhibition, exceeding attendance for the 1978 “Treasures of Tutankhamun,” which had reeled in more than 1.36 million visitors. Last year’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion” pulled in 687,449 people, and chief curator in charge Andrew Bolton is already at work on this spring’s Costume Institute show, “About Time: Fashion and Duration.”
Other museums such as Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum have dreamed up fashion-themed shows. The latter will present the first museum exhibition of American designer Willi Smith in March. London’s Design Museum will unveil “Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street” in May, and “Prada: Front to Back” in September. (Getting a jump on the season, tickets for the Prada show, which will explore the house’s “creative approach, inspirations and landmark collaborations” will go on sale this spring.) Another fashion label will be spotlighted, when “Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago” bows at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago next month. Even the Cornell Art Museum has a new exhibition, “Art Couture: The Intersection of Art and Fashion.”
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