Press release

752,995 Visitors to Costume Institute’s
Manus x Machina Make It the 7th Most
Visited Exhibition in The Met’s History

Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology

(New York, September 6, 2016) – The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, which closed yesterday, attracted 752,995 visitors during its run from May 5 to September 5, putting it in seventh place among the Museum’s most visited exhibitions, joining blockbusters such as Treasures of Tutankhamun (1978), Mona Lisa (1963), and Painters in Paris, 1895-1950 (2000).  The show also becomes the second most visited Costume Institute exhibition, surpassing Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011), which had 661,509 visitors.  China: Through the Looking Glass (2015) remains the department’s most popular show with 815,992 visitors and The Met’s fifth most visited.   All three exhibitions were curated by Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute.

“We are thrilled that so many people from around the world experienced this exploration of the artistry of fashion,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Met.  “The exhibition required the transformation of the Robert Lehman Wing into a domed cathedral-like space that invited people to slow down and contemplate the process and craft of the objects.”

The exhibition, originally set to close on August 14, was extended by three weeks, and hours were added on September 2 and 3, when it stayed open until midnight, three hours past the usual 9:00 p.m. closing time on Friday and Saturday nights.  

Manus x Machina explored how designers reconcile the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. It addressed the distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) as discordant tools in the creative process, and questioned the changing delineation between the haute couture and ready-to-wear.

The exhibition was made possible by Apple.
Additional support was provided by Condé Nast.

The exhibition is featured on the Museum’s website,, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #ManusxMachina.  

September 6, 2016

Image: Wedding Ensemble, Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913), autumn/winter 2014–15 haute couture, back view; Courtesy of CHANEL. Patrimoine Collection. Courtesy of  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope.

Press resources