(New York, June 14, 2000) — Harold Koda, who served for four years during the 1990s as Associate Curator of The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, will rejoin the Museum as Curator-in-Charge of the Costume Institute effective November 6, it was announced today by Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan.
"We are delighted that Harold Koda will be returning to this institution to renew his career here and to help reinvigorate The Costume Institute, which he has served with such dazzling creativity and energy in the past. His record of accomplishment at the Metropolitan and elsewhere promises a splendid and distinctive future for The Costume Institute, one that combines both glamour and intellectual inquiry in pursuit of exhibition and publication programs that engage and inform the Institute's growing audiences."
In his earlier tenure at the Metropolitan, working in close collaboration with the late Richard Martin, then Curator-in-Charge of The Costume Institute, Mr. Koda co-organized 12 acclaimed exhibitions, including: Diana Vreeland: Immoderate Style (1993), Waist Not (1993), Madame Grès (1994), Orientalism (1994), Haute Couture (1995), Bloom (1995), Bare Witness (1996), Two by Two (1996), and Christian Dior (1996).
He has also co-authored 18 books, including 10 landmark catalogues for the Metropolitan Museum exhibitions that he organized with Mr. Martin. He has lectured widely, at both the Metropolitan and at other institutions, and has contributed a number of scholarly articles to Textile and Text and other publications.
Currently, Mr. Koda is serving as co-curator of the exhibition Giorgio Armani, scheduled to open this October at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Prior to his 1993-1997 experience at The Costume Institute, Mr. Koda worked for 11 years at the Edward C. Blum Design Laboratory of the Fashion Institute of Technology, serving as associate curator in the costume collection from 1979 to 1972, as curator of the costume collection from 1982 to 1990, and as director from 1990 to 1992. During his tenure at FIT he worked with Mr. Martin on such exhibitions as Balenciaga (1986), Fashion and Surrealism (1987), Jocks and Nerds (1989), Fashion in Film (1990), Splash! (1991), Giorgio Armani: Images of Man (1990), Paper Clothes (1991), and Halston: Absolute Modernism (1991), all with Mr. Martin, and in occasional collaboration with Laura Sinderbrand.
Earlier, he was an exhibition assistant at the Metropolitan, working on Costume Institute exhibitions, including: The Glory of Russian Costume, Vanity Fair, Diaghilev, The Manchu Dragon, and The 18th Century Woman. He began his career as an administrator for rare books and manuscripts at Sotheby's in New York. He has served previously as fashion editorial consultant to Spy magazine, and as an editorial consultant to both the Abbeville Press and Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Born in Honolulu, he graduated from the University of Hawaii with a B.A. in English Literature and a B.F.A. in Art History, pursued further studies at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, and in June 2000 received his Masters degree in Landscape Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
Mr. Koda has twice (in 1986 and 1997) won a special award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
The Museum expressed special gratitude to Myra Walker, who has served since January 1, 2000, as Acting Associate Curator-in-Charge of The Costume Institute. Earlier, she organized the exhibition Rock Style (December 9, 1999-March 19, 2000) and has recently been organizing the forthcoming Costume Institute installation Curios and Treasures, which will open on August 15, 2000.