Brooklyn Museum Will Transfer Costume Collection to Metropolitan Museum

brooklyn museum logo.gifSharing beautiful clothes can get ugly. Nonetheless, the Brooklyn Museum is opening its well-stocked closets. In a landmark partnership announced yesterday, the Brooklyn Museum will transfer its 23,500-piece costume collection to the Met’s Costume Institute, where it will be known as The Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Costume Institute will integrate the works into its exhibitions, publications, and educational programs.

Amassed over a century, the renowned Brooklyn collection includes such coveted wearables as the designs of Charles James and Elsa Schiaparelli, wardrobes assembled by major collectors, and extensive collections of hats and shoes. (The Brooklyn Museum will retain all of its non-Western costumes, as well as all non-fashion textiles.) With the help of a Mellon Foundation grant of nearly $4 million, the museum has just completed a three-year project to assess and photograph its costume collection, which is sure to nip in the bud any potential “No, that’s our Directoire Revival cravat!” tussles with Costume Institute director Harold Koda. Look for a special exhibition of costumes from the Brooklyn collection at the Met in 2010, when it will also be the focus of The Costume Institute’s annual gala—following 2009’s model year.