Andrew Bolton Named Curator in Charge of Met’s Costume Institute

Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton. Courtesty of the Metropolitan Museum of Art/BFA.
Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton. Courtesty of the Metropolitan Museum of Art/BFA.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has named Andrew Bolton curator in charge of the Costume Institute after it was announced in August its current head, Harold Koda, would step down.

During his 14-year tenure Koda oversaw ambitious and crowd-drawing exhibitions at the museum, including “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” in 2011 and this year’s “China: Through the Looking Glass,” which saw more than 800,000 visitors in its five month run. The latter exhibition is the fifth most-viewed exhibition in the Met’s history.

As well as overseeing exhibitions, Koda helped transfer the Brooklyn Museum costume’s collection to the Met in 2009. In 2014, Koda reopened the Costume Institute after a two-year renovation, and he helped stage the annual Met Gala (“the Oscars of fashion”) with Anna Wintour, which garnered a record $12.5 million in 2015 for the museum’s coffers, according to the New York Times.

“It’s been an incredible time to be in this field,” Koda told the Times in a telephone interview. “You’re in the catbird seat of fashion. You can observe and comment on contemporary fashion without any of the risks that designers, merchants and editors have to go through.”

Details of "China: Through the Looking Glass". Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFA.

Details of “China: Through the Looking Glass”.
Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFA.

The Honolulu-born curator has guided his department from a marginal part of the institution, relegated to the museum’s basement, to an internationally renowned museum division. In 2002, Koda brought on Bolton from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

“If there’s anything, my greatest acquisition has been getting Andrew Bolton from the [Victoria and Albert Museum] and putting together all of these incredible things that people don’t see. But they are as important than the more visible aspects of our department,” Koda told WWD. “I can’t imagine anything going wrong with this. All of the pieces are in place.”

Bolton will take the helm in January.

Related stories:

See Highlights of the Met Costume Institute’s Dramatic New China Exhibition

Wong Kar Wai Will Direct Met Show on Chinese Influence in Fashion

Why Are Fashion Blockbusters More Popular Than Art Exhibitions and What Can we do About It?

V&A Announces All-Night Admissions for Alexander McQueen Blockbuster


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