The Met's Costume Institute Collection of 30,000 Now Available Online
Terri Potratz | October 6, 2008 at 10:57 amby
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art has transformed one of the world's largest collections of clothing and accessories, The Costume Institute, into a digital format which is now available to view online within the museum's extensive database of holdings.
For the first time, nearly all of the Costume Institute’s large collection of clothing has been translated into an online database.
The project was started in 2000, and since then the department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has worked on formatting and digitizing information on 29,432 objects from the 31,000-piece collection.
The Costume Institute houses a collection of more than thirty thousand costumes and accessories spanning five continents and as many centuries. Arguably the preeminent institution of its kind in the world, the matrix of The Costume Institute collection was the Museum of Costume Art, an independent entity formed in 1937. Led by Neighborhood Playhouse founder Irene Lewisohn, the Museum of Costume Art benefited from gifts from Irene Lewisohn and her sister Alice Lewisohn Crowley, as well as from theatrical designers Aline Bernstein and Lee Simonson, among many others. In 1946, with the financial support of the fashion industry, the Museum of Costume Art merged with The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Costume Institute became a department in its own right in 1959.