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Exhibitions/ Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

At The Met Fifth Avenue
May 10–October 8, 2018

Exhibition Catalogue

Showcasing the influence of religious art on innovative fashions, this two-volume set explores the role of spirituality in contemporary culture.

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Exhibition Overview

The Costume Institute's spring 2018 exhibition—at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters—features a dialogue between fashion and medieval art from The Met collection to examine fashion's ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism.

Serving as the cornerstone of the exhibition, papal robes and accessories from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside The Vatican, are on view in the Anna Wintour Costume Center. Fashions from the early twentieth century to the present are shown in the Byzantine and medieval galleries, part of the Robert Lehman Wing, and at The Met Cloisters.


Accompanied by a catalogue.

Exhibition design by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Featured Media


"A gift from the Sartorial Gods . . . an idea so right, so inevitably majestic, that it's amazing it never happened here before." —Wall Street Journal

"It's gorgeous, moving, and surprisingly witty. . . . It confirms the historical, even mystical power of fashion, its worthiness of serious attention . . ." —The Cut

"Art lovers already know the Metropolitan Museum is heaven on Earth. But its new exhibit . . . should convert everyone else." —New York Post

The exhibition is made possible by
Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman

Additional support is provided by
Condé Nast

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in

Related Content

Detail view of a Karl Lagerfeld for House of Chanel gilet composed of many crosses

In this Now at The Met article, Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, provides an overview of the themes and works explored in this exhibition.

View of a gallery in a medieval cloister, featuring two twelfth-century sculptures of the Virgin and Child on either side of a contemporary ensemble by Viktor & Rolf

Conservator Lucretia Kargère discusses two twelfth-century sculptures in the Museum's collection that have been reunited at The Met Cloisters on the occasion of Heavenly Bodies.

Rihanna walks up the red carpet steps of The Met Fifth Avenue wearing a dramatic yellow gown by Guo Pei and flanked by photographers

Nancy Chilton, chief communications officer for The Costume Institute, takes a look back at the history of The Met Gala—from its inception in 1948 to the red carpet spectacle of today—and shares her favorite moments from the past ten years.

The Met Store

View of an exhibition catalogue and a rosary against a white background

Luminous stained glass, precious jeweled crosses, sacred relics, and other devotional treasures have inspired our divine collection celebrating The Costume Institute's 2018 exhibition. Shop now.

John Galliano (British, born Gibraltar, 1960) for House of Dior (French, founded 1947). Evening ensemble, autumn/winter 2000–2001 haute couture. Courtesy of Dior Heritage Collection, Paris. Digital composite scan by Katerina Jebb