As America’s largest art museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is always a a good place to visit. Although the recommended admission price is $25, which is strongly encouraged, their policy is “pay what you wish”, so although the signs don’t advertise this, it’s a useful fact to know.
The Met carries more than two million pieces of permanent work as well as a number of exhibitions that are constantly changing. Currently, from October 31 to February 1, The Met is hosting Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire located in the Anna Wintour Costume Center.
According to The Met’s website, “The exhibition explores the aesthetic development and cultural implications of mourning fashions of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Approximately 30 ensembles, many of which are being exhibited for the first time, reveal the impact of high-fashion standards on the sartorial dictates of bereavement rituals as they evolved over a century.”
The exhibition showcases high fashion mourning wear, accessories, and jewelry as well as intricate gowns worn from 1815-1915. The ensembles were worn by women such as Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra, who were expected to wear the appropriate garments to reflect their grief over their husbands’ deaths. Although the details and embellishments of the ensembles are remarkable and beautifully done, the exhibit provokes the viewer to examine how mourning wear of earlier centuries reflected the sometimes absurd social expectations of women in that time.
To see more of what’s on view now at The Met, click here.