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Exhibitions/ Dress Rehearsal

Dress Rehearsal: Origins of The Costume Institute

August 1–October 28, 2001
Exhibitions are free with Museum admission.

Exhibition Overview

The Costume Institute houses costumes and accessories from four centuries and five continents. At its nucleus is the collection of the former Museum of Costume Art, organized by a theater-oriented group of civic leaders led by the New York philanthropist and savant Irene Lewisohn. For the first time since its inception in 1937, a rare selection from the Museum of Costume Art is on view to explore the foundation of collecting that has established the roots of the renowned collection of The Costume Institute. More than seventy-five items are on display, with highlights that include early folk costumes, historic fashions such as Queen Alexandra's coronation year wardrobe, and twentieth-century haute couture.

Riding Ensemble. France, ca. 1905. Silk, metal thread, ostrich feathers. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Miss Irene Lewisohn, 1937 (C.I.37.44.3a, b)