The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is embarking on the transformation of the large ground floor hall currently occupied by a store and a restaurant into an exhibition gallery. This major project aims to expand the Fashion Institute which houses the “Anna Wintour Costume Center” costume collection. The space traditionally hosts the annual Met Gala, a highly media-scrutinized event where celebrities are invited in costumes with a particular theme; which helps to raise awareness as well as finance the museum, thanks to the resulting fundraising.
The work will make it possible to create a new exhibition space intended for the art of fashion, in a building dating from the 19th century (opened to the public in 1872). MET director Max Hollein wants to improve the visitor experience and ease traffic flow. Each year, there are 5 million people who pass through the entrance. Many come for the Costume Institute which houses 35,000 pieces. The expansion of its spaces will also make it possible to better display the temporary exhibitions which open each spring by dedicating a place to them. Anne Wintour, editor-in-chief of the magazine Vogue, trustee of the Met, enabled this important financial collection by releasing aid of 50 million dollars (nearly 48 million euros).
The food court and boutique will be moved to the entrance to the museum plaza along 5th Avenue. They will be open outside museum hours to better accommodate its customers. The work is scheduled to be completed in 2026. The Michael C. Rockefeller wing, dedicated to African, Native American and oceanic arts, is currently closed since 2020 for reopening in 2025.