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- 10/16/14--14:40: _Slideshow: Highligh...
- 10/16/14--18:31: _Doig’s Tropical Pai...
- 10/17/14--04:00: _Highlights From the...
- 10/17/14--06:18: _Beyoncé and Jay Z V...
- 10/17/14--08:30: _New York
- 10/17/14--09:14: _BLOUIN Lifestyle Pi...
- 10/17/14--10:08: _Slideshow: Edgar Ar...
- 10/17/14--10:35: _Week in Review: Fro...
- 10/17/14--10:50: _Slideshow: James Bi...
- 10/17/14--13:20: _VIDEO: Frieze Londo...
- 10/24/14--08:31: _See Highlights From...
- 10/24/14--09:04: _VIDEO: Highlights o...
- 10/24/14--09:12: _BLOUIN Lifestyle Pi...
- 10/24/14--10:02: _From Swords to Semi...
- 10/24/14--11:13: _Week in Review: Fro...
- 10/24/14--12:21: _Slideshow: Hugh Sco...
- 10/24/14--12:27: _Talking Restaurant ...
- 10/24/14--12:39: _The Open Road Apert...
- 10/24/14--13:33: _Sean Kelly Hosts "G...
- 10/24/14--13:36: _The Met’s Morbid Fa...
- 10/16/14--14:40: Slideshow: Highlights From the Łódź Design Festival
- 10/16/14--18:31: Doig’s Tropical Painting Leads Christie’s Big Frieze-Week Sale
- 10/17/14--04:00: Highlights From the Łódź Design Festival
- 10/17/14--06:18: Beyoncé and Jay Z Visit Frieze, Jasper Johns Forger Jailed, and More
- 10/17/14--08:30: New York
- 10/17/14--10:35: Week in Review: From Frieze Week to Abramovic, Our Top Stories
- 10/17/14--10:50: Slideshow: James Bishop at David Zwirner
- 10/17/14--13:20: VIDEO: Frieze London Highlights 2014
- 10/24/14--08:31: See Highlights From FIAC 2014
- 10/24/14--09:04: VIDEO: Highlights of FIAC 2014
- 10/24/14--09:12: BLOUIN Lifestyle Pick: Great Rings of Eras Past
- 10/24/14--10:02: From Swords to Semioticians: MoMA’s “To Save and Project”
- 10/24/14--12:21: Slideshow: Hugh Scott-Douglas at Jessica Silverman Gallery
- 10/24/14--12:27: Talking Restaurant Design at Pratt
- 10/24/14--13:36: The Met’s Morbid Fascination With Mourning Fashion
LONDON—After its Essl Collection sale on Monday kicked off the Frieze-week frenzy, Christie’s returned on Thursday night with its main event of the week.
Peter Doig’s first tropical painting led a carefully edited postwar and contemporary auction. The house tried to catch the prevailing mood favoring young artists—like the many being exhibited at this week’s fairs—and the German masters now on view in many of the British capital’s biggest galleries.
Still, the top lot was Doig’s “The Heart of Old San Juan,” dating from 1999, showing an emerald-green basketball court by the sea. The tranquil painting attracted some interest in the salesroom and sold for £4.56 million (about $7.26 million). It had been estimated at £4 million to £6 million. The work marked a shift away from Doig’s images of snowy Canada.
The Christie’s sale coincided with major exhibitions of German art in London—Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy of Art and Sigmar Polke at Tate Modern. Gallery openings this week included Marian Goodman’s first London space, showing Gerhard Richter works. The auction included these artists as well as other German painters.
Richter, now 82, was much in demand at Christie’s in King Street; his blurred rainforest landscape, “Waldstuck (Chile),” sold for £4.45 million. “Fiktion (Garten),” or “Fiction (Garden),” made £2.21 million, while one of Richter’s “Abstraktes Bild” works made £1.87 million and another abstract was knocked down at £1.2 million. Only one of the artist’s six works on offer failed to sell, against a $1.5 million estimate. Another Richter, “Netz,” failed to sell on Oct. 13 in the Essl Collection sale.
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Love Dub for A” made £4.34 million and was bought by an American buyer, with an estimate of £4 million to £6 million. The cartoon-like piece from 1987 is a billboard-sized tribute to Basquiat’s friend and mentor Andy Warhol, who had died unexpectedly in February of that year. The two had a close and competitive relationship.
Prices for Basquiat, who created 800 paintings before dying himself at the age of 27 in 1988, continue to hold strong. His “Infantry” made £2.43 million.
Tracey Emin’s “Mad Tracey From Margate Everybody’s Been There” sold for £722,500. This applique blanket, with personal symbols, was estimated at £700,000 to £1 million following the sale of “My Bed” at Christie’s last July. The blanket was made in 1997, the year she appeared in the Sensation exhibition of Young British Artists at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Juan Muñoz’s “Conversation Piece I” went under the hammer for £2.32 million. The artist (1953-2001) had created four bronze figures with similar forms that appear to be in conversation with each other. Christie’s said that it was acquired by a European private buyer.
A trademark seascape by the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, this one titled “Aegean Sea, Pilion,” sold for a mid-estimate £242,500. The artist has become more in demand after one of his minimalist images in the series, showing Lake Constance, was used as the cover image of the “No Line on the Horizon” album by Irish rock band U2 in 2009.
The post-war and contemporary sale raised a total of £40.34 million including buyer’s premiums, with 41 of 46 lots sold. Collectors were prepared to pay £4 million or more for top works and were selective about some others, dealers said.
Francis Outred, International Director and Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe, said it was “one of the most packed auction rooms I have ever witnessed.”
The evening continued with a £27.58 million Italian sale, with the highlight being a metal column by Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994) that set an artist’s record of £2.43 million. The buyer was American.
Christie’s totaled the night’s events at some £67.9 million—or £114.7 million for the week including Essl, a record for October evening auctions.
Christie’s said the £46.9 million sale of 43 works from the Essl Collection on Monday was London’s most valuable auction ever of a private post-war and contemporary art collection. This was followed by the VIP day of the Frieze Art Fair, where works by Pablo Picasso, Polke and Damien Hirst were among the early sales. Frieze was boosted by higher demand, dealers said, as well as the Frieze Masters event and satellite fairs.
A large-scale Christopher Wool painting fetched the top price at the inaugural auction by Phillips at its new London headquarters building in Berkeley Square on Wednesday, and events wind down with sales at Sotheby’s and Bonhams on Friday night.
ŁÓDŹ, Poland — The international design community probably doesn’t need to learn to pronounce the name of this central Polish city before recognizing the creativity of its emerging talents. But those diacritical marks haven’t stopped a community of young designers and domestic manufacturers from convening here every year since 2007 for the Łódź Design Festival, on view through October 19. Yet given the concentration of local talent at Art_Inkubator, a former factory site where ŁDF is currently under way, it makes sense to start polishing (no pun intended) your Polish. Remember: It’s pronounced Woo-ch. And while the middle of Poland doesn’t stand to enter the Italy-Netherlands-Scandinavia-Japan cosmology of modern and contemporary design, there’s still plenty of reason to pay attention (and a visit) to Łódź. Below, we’ve rounded up the most interesting exhibits on view this year in Łódź.
Make Me! Design Competition
Some of the strongest displays belong to the Make me! competition, held annually at ŁDF for work created by designers under 35. Though pieces from contestants based outside of Poland are featured here, the majority of the 21 contestants are Polish designers (selected from a pool of 247 applicants), many of whom work with Polish manufacturers. As such, the competition offers an engrossing introduction to the contemporary design world in Poland.
The offerings range from the witty — human-scale doll furniture by Slovak designer Silvia Lovasova — to the inventively functional — a bicycle grip that cools the rider’s palms by the Warsaw studio Frivolous With Industry (Justyna Strociak and Magda Gasiorowska). The winning design is an algae-based ink that prints onto fabrics by Berlin studio Blond & Bieber. The studio’s founders created a movable textile printer that also makes the dyes it distributes onto fabric.
Brave Fixed World
The theme of this year’s ŁDF, Brave New World, is expanded at British curator Daniel Charny’s exhibition Brave Fixed World. With the maker movement having already overtaken the design world, Charny’s display suggests that a “fixer” movement should come next. With so many things having been made, some of them surely need fixing, Charny seems to suggest.
This section features various prototypes for a fixer hub, a space where citizens with handicraft skills can meet to repair broken objects, or refashion them into different things altogether. There are models for libraries, gallery spaces, and documentation of the relatively few fix hubs that are currently in operation. With the movement’s emphasis on collectivity, it naturally comes with a Repair Manifesto: “If you can’t fix it, you don’t own it,” reads the first “self-evident” tenet.
Taste of an Object
Located inside the Museum of the City of Łódź, this exhibition, which premiered at Milan Design Week last April, pairs design objects with foodstuffs devised specifically to render edible the material qualities of design. It’s an unorthodox, highly visceral approach to design display, one that might do well far beyond Milan and Łódź.
The geographical focus here is rather narrow — only designers from northern Poland are on display — but the objects and tastes presented are quite diverse. An aluminum chair designed by the Tabanda Group is paired with chocolate bark, which, according to curator Jacub Razy, has a flat exterior and a semi-solid interior just like the metal. While it doesn’t necessarily explain the geographical or cultural context from which these objects emerge, the point here isn’t cultural specificity. Rather, Razy insists that language isn’t really the best way to understand industrial design. Food, like furniture, is after all an almost universal human need.
— Mr. and Mrs. Carter Take Frieze: Over the weekend, Beyoncé and Jay Z caused a ruckus by posting several pictures of an after-hours visit to the Louvre (that included a few portraits with the Mona Lisa). So it’s no surprise that Frieze was the next stop on the dynamic duo’s European art tour. While in London they took a private tour of the fair with Salon 94 dealer Jeanne Greenberg, took pictures in Helly Nahmad’s booth at Frieze Masters, and stopped by Anish Kapoor’s studio. [TAN, Daily Mail]
— Jasper Johns Forger Jailed: Jasper Johns forger Brian Ramnarine has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for attempting to sell a fake work for $11 million. Ramnarine, who owns the Empire Bronze Art Foundry, created the “Flag” from a mold Johns had given him to create a wax cast. “Brian Ramnarine’s only art was as a con artist who concocted and carried out not one, but three separate schemes to peddle fake sculptures to unsuspecting buyers for million of dollars, pretending they had been made by well-known artists,” Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement. [NYT]
— Eisenhower Memorial Approved: After some turmoil, the Commission of Fine Arts has approved Frank Gehry’s edited Eisenhower Memorial plan. In other Gehry news, Christopher Hawthorne gave his new museum for the Louis Vuitton Foundation a glowing review and it turns out he may be brought on to renovate LA MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary. [WP, LAT, TAN]
— Sherman’s Stills Hit the Block: Today in Carol Vogel’s column we learn that 21 of Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled Film Stills” will be up for grabs at Christie’s, Sotheby’s S/2 is planning a Maurizio Cattelan show, and Ellsworth Kelly has big plans for the Fondation Louis Vuitton. [NYT]
— DC’s High Line: More details have been released about OMA and Olin’s 11th Street Bridge Park project. [WP]
— Fiber Art is Having a Moment: “It’s not an embarrassing material any more,” said Tate Modern director Chris Dercon. [TAN]
— The National Gallery of Australia has chosen Gerard Vaughan as its new director. [The Guardian]
— “Blackness has always been stigmatized, even amongst black people who flee from the density of that blackness. Some black people recoil from black people who are that dark because it has always been stigmatized.” — Kerry James Marshall discusses the issues surrounding his work. [The Independent]
— Tim Disney has been named the new CalArts chairman. [LAT]
ALSO ON ARTINFO
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Skarstedt Gallery was founded in 1994 by Per Skarstedt to mount historical exhibitions by Contemporary European and American artists that had become the core of his specialty in Sweden and New York in the late 1980's and early 1990's. The New York gallery's program remains focused on artists of the late Twentieth Century whose work explores concepts such as representation, authorship, identity and sexual politics across a wide-range of media. Skarstedt Gallery's unique relationships with artists allows it to present exhibitions both on the primary and secondary markets, creating a dialogue between the generations.
— Sarah Hanson reported on the swift sales at Frieze Masters.
— The Musée d’Orsay released a racy promotional video to promote its upcoming exhibition Marquis de Sade-themed exhibition.
— Anna Kats asked architect Maayan Strauss about her plan to put artist studios on cargo ships.
— Wendy Vogel reviewed “Art in the Age of the Anthropocene” at this year’s Taipei Biennial.
— Scott Indrisek joined artist Michelle Grabner in a walk-through of her latest show at James Cohan Gallery.
— Marina Abramovic announced another participatory performance piece coming up later this month at Sean Kelly Gallery.
— Anneliese Cooper highlighted seven shows not to be missed at Cincinnati’s FotoFocus Biennial.
A tour of the fair, and some of its most interesting moments, with Artinfo's senior writer and Modern Painters executive editor Scott Indrisek.
A tour of some of the standout artworks at the Paris fair, with Modern Painters editor in chief Daniel Kunitz.
For film aficionados of all stripes, one of the highlights of each fall season in New York City is undoubtedly the Museum of Modern Art’s “To Save and Project,” its annual festival of film preservation, running October 24 through November 22. Now entering its 12th year, the event’s slate of films programmed by curators Joshua Siegel and Dave Kehr this go-around constitute the widest ranging and most varied selection of moving-image work you’re likely to see at any time, all in one place.
The festival opens with a restoration of Allan Dwan’s “The Iron Mask,” a late-period silent film — and Dwan’s last — made in 1929, starring Douglas Fairbanks, a sequel to the successful “The Three Musketeers” and the final swashbuckler the actor would make. “I thought it was the end of fine art,” Dwan exclaimed to Peter Bogdanovich in his book, “Who the Hell Made It,” about the emergence of the talkies.
Despite his reluctance to move to sound, Dwan made some of his best pictures late in his career, and as evidenced by MoMA’s retrospective last summer, he is one of the most underappreciated of the classical Hollywood filmmakers. He had one of the lengthiest careers within the studio system, so long that, as relayed to Bogdanovich in the same book, the director Orson Welles once exclaimed: “He started directing, didn’t he, just about the time of the invention of the electric light?”
Speaking of Welles, he’s represented in the program with “Too Much Johnson,” his first film, an unfinished silent work in three parts shot in 1938, and recently discovered in a warehouse in Italy. On the more obscure front, there’s “To The Last Man,” a low-budget 1933 Randolph Scott western directed by Henry Hathaway (unfairly categorized under the “Lightly Likeable” section in critic Andrew Sarris’s “American Cinema” tome), and two Poverty Row curiosities: restored 35mm prints of Edgar G. Ulmer’s melodrama “Her Sister’s Secret,” and Alfred L. Werker’s subversive “Repeat Performance.”
At the center of the festival are two films from Hollywood journeyman John Boorman that give unusual insight into his eclectic body of work. “Leo the Last” stars Marcello Mastroianni in one of his best performances, and the film, composed of a muted color palate, stands in contrast to “Excalibur,” which explodes in hazy shades of blacks, blues, and purples, a hallucinatory take on the King Arthur myth that is almost the complete opposite from the more boots-on-the-ground “Leo.” Both films display the wide range of the formal and narrative modes Boorman is capable of, and deserve to be slotted next to his more famous work such as “Deliverance” and “Point Blank.”
For more cinematic hallucinations, there’s “The Bubble,” a 1966 oddity written and directed by Arch Oboler that was supposed to be the launch of the 4-D Space-Vision, a system that never took off. If that’s not enough images jumping off the screen, the “3-D Funhouse!” program features a handful of rare shorts from the 1940s and ’50s made in the United States, Canada, and the USSR.
“To Save and Project” is simply too massive to address everything, but for the sake of brevity a few that you’d be foolish to pass up: Derek Jarman’s startling twofer “Caravaggio” and “Sebastiane,” both presented in digital 2K restorations; the sadly departed Raul Ruiz’s “The Golden Boat,” a truly bizarre film from the master of bizarre films, shot in the streets of New York and starring members of the Wooster Group, Jim Jarmusch, Vito Acconci, and many, many more; “The White Game,” made by the Swedish documentary collective Grupp 13 about a clash between student activists and racist police in May 1968; and the rambunctious “Joe Bullet,” the first film made in South Africa with an all-black cast that promises to stand tall next to the best Blaxploitation-classics of the era.
Among the rarities and treasures from around the world that are ripe for rediscovery, one of the most interesting will be the recreation of the “Cine Virus” program from 1978, organized by Michael Oblowitz and the now-famous Hollywood filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow. The original program was pegged to the release of a special issue of the journal Semiotext(e) called “Schizo-Culture,” and its reappearance is presented in conjunction with “The Return of Schizo-Culture,” a performance at MoMA PS1 in November. Among the highlights are legendary NYC underground filmmaker Eric Mitchell’s “Mass Homicide,” Bruce Connor’s “Mongoloid,” with music by Devo, and a rare screening of Bigelow’s “Set-Up,” her student film at Columbia that was recently preserved by MoMA, which features two men fighting (one of them weirdly the bug-eyed actor Gary Busey) and the semioticians Sylvère Lotringer and Marshall Blonsky in voiceover deconstructing the images we’re seeing on screen.
— Martin Gayford found that the 2014 Turner Prize exhibition caused him “temporary loss of the will to live.”
— Anneliese Cooper tried to refrain from making too many feline puns at the news that Rhonda Lieberman’s “Cats in Residence” will return, with shows in Hartford and Los Angeles.
— Scott Indrisek rounded up six must-see gallery shows in Brussels for those eager art fans commuting between Frieze and FIAC.
— Artist Tania Brugera spoke with Ashton Cooper about “The Francis Project,” in which she encouraged undocumented immigrants to write to the Pope.
— Regina Mogilevskaya wrote up a guide to this year’s CMJ, from lady rock to bummer dance.
— Ariana Reines and Jim Fletcher went head-to-head in a late-night round of “Mortal Kombat” at the Whitney.
— Craig Hubert examined the masculine ideal presented in Swedish director Ruben Östlund's “Force Majeure.”
— Scott Indrisek visited sculptor David Altmejd in his studio.
— Patrick Pacheco noted the relevant political tensions in Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Disgrace.”
— Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss, co-curators of “Alien She,” explained their Riot Grrrl ethos.
Leading restaurant designer Adam Tihany opened last night’s Pratt Institute panel on the affinities between interiors, design, and food with some reminiscences: “Andy Warhol couldn’t get into my first restaurant and that’s how I became famous. Like everything in New York, it happened because of someone else’s misery.” After the audience issued a collective giggle, fellow panelists, devoted Tihany clients, and renowned chefs Daniel Boulud (he of Café Boulud, Boulud Sud, and Daniel fame) and Lydia Shire (the cook and restaurateur behind Scampo Boston, Seasons, and Maison Robert) assured attendees that, in fact, Tihany’s success has even more to do with his talent for creating atmospheres and ambiance that reflect the passions and menus of his clients.
“The three pillars of a successful restaurant are food, service, and design,” said Tihany, as the panelists and moderator Michael Boodro of Elle Décor waded through the intricacies of designing and operating a fine dining establishment. “The food should drive the style of the restaurant,” added Shire. The rest of the conversation had more to do with details like the drape of tablecloths, the modulation of lighting, and the choice of materials for furniture. What might seem like minutia is actually essential to the success of a restaurant, noted Tihany: “Restaurants are about control — of people in space, of their experience. It’s not about reality, it’s about the perception of reality.” To that point, he stressed that being a restaurateur and a restaurant designer comes down to understanding human psychology.
The question-and-answer session that followed the discussion produced some of the evening’s most curious commentaries on the crossbreeding of the food and design industries. When asked about the New Americana trend in New York dining, nobody seemed impressed. Boulud pointed out that it’s annoying to try to read a menu in fine-print cursive under low light and against the background of a dark, wooden table. Tihany, with his signature irony, went so far as to predict the trend’s downfall: “They’re going to run out of Edison bulbs sooner or later,” he quipped. Shire, for her part, did not so much decry urban gardens as speak to their irrelevance — with so much high-quality produce grown in the Northeast, it makes no sense to attach a garden to one’s restaurant (nor does the New York real estate market allow for the necessary space, everyone agreed). The observations were especially interesting, given that the panel was held on the border of Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill and Fort Greene neighborhoods, where New Americana is practically indigenous cuisine.
It became obvious as the evening wore on that Tihany, Boulud, and Shire frequent not only their own restaurants, but also the most talked-about dining establishments in New York City — both as devoted foodies and as devotees of restaurant design. Thus, when ARTINFO saw Tihany and Shire leaving the reception that followed with a group of friends, we were eager to know where they planned to get dinner. They slipped away before we got an answer, but we’ll venture to say that there were probably no rustic details in sight.
Descending into the Metropolitan Museum’s Anna Wintour Costume Center these days feels a bit like entering some particularly glamorous catacombs. Greeted by the echo of vaguely funereal music (Gabriel Fauré’s “Requiem Op. 48,” to be precise), visitors pass a mural of a grey-leafed weeping willow on their way down into the dimly lit hall, where they face the series of dramatic Victorian-era dresses that make up the centerpiece of “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire.” The Costume Institute’s first fall exhibition in seven years, “Death Becomes Her” explores the fashionable side of mortality with approximately 30 ensembles from 1815 to 1915, including a dress worn by Queen Alexandra in mourning of Queen Victoria.
As expected given the subject matter, the color palette of the show is overwhelmingly black — in crapes and velvets, sleek veils and puffed gigot sleeves — with a few welcome splashes of grey and purple to honor the later tradition of “half-mourning” attire. To round out the gloomy aesthetic, topical quotes are projected on all four walls in ghostly white (e.g., “She seemed to see people and life through the confusing blur of the long crape veil in which it was a widow’s duty to shroud her affliction”; or “The eyes that survive the bitterness of tears succumb to the poisonous rasping of crape”). Meanwhile, the adjacent gallery hosts a collection of death-centric prints and photographs, as well as other vintage bereavement accessories like hats and parasols.
As museum shows go, fashion exhibitions have high potential to rack up pop culture cachet — and especially, in this case, some interest from the despondent, black-lipstick-sporting set. It’s clear that this demographic is at least somewhat on the museum’s radar: In addition to the usual exhibition catalogue and postcards, this show’s makeshift gift shop offers a selection of goth-friendly tchotchkes, from chunky black jewelry to a special edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” (A personal favorite: the “Mystifying Mints,” with tops designed to look like Ouija boards.)
Still, it’s not all vague morbidity and black lace here. As with other exhibitions of its ilk, “Death Becomes Her” does well to foreground fashion’s inherent sociopolitical significance — in this case, the uncertain role of independent women in the 19th century. Indeed, this is where the title’s double entendre takes effect — because really, in so exceedingly patriarchal an age, what was to become of a widow? According to Charles Dana Gibson’s 1900 satirical illustration series for Life magazine, she’s a not-so-subtly sexual figure, at once outcast and sought after by her former social circles — in one panel, the young widow gets “indignation and sympathy over a scurrilous attitude” from a frumpy-looking “Mrs. Babbles,” while in another, she sits disinterested, surrounded by rapt suit-clad men. As the exhibition demonstrates, flashy mourning attire was as much a way to publicly prove devotion to one’s late spouse as it was to announce oneself as newly single: “Don’t you see,” says an anonymous young woman in one of the wall-projected excerpts, “[wearing sable] saves me the expense of advertising for a husband.” It’s no wonder, then, that mourning dresses were pushed heavily in the fashion magazines that cropped up during this era, and that so weighty an emotional burden would be dressed in cascading frills, albeit somber-toned ones.
Of course, lest it all seem a bit callous, it’s worth thinking of the ornate ensembles as a form of distraction in coping with death — which, as the exhibition’s opening wall text reminds us, occurred at a far higher rate in the 1800s, especially among children. Behind the panels of tulle and chiffon lurks the specter of genuine grief; each dress seems to represent the transfiguration of something brutal, baffling, and unavoidable into something delicate and ordered. Perhaps nowhere is this so poignant as in the few pieces of jewelry fitted with intricately-laid locks of the deceased’s hair — at once touching and macabre, even perversely romantic. Poe, at least, would certainly approve.
“Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire” is on view at the Metropolitan Museum through February 1, 2015.