Portions of a Ceremonial Armor

Date: ca. 1575–80

Culture: French

Medium: Steel, embossed, with traces of gilding

Dimensions: Weight, 17 lb. 7 oz. (7910 g)

Classification: Armor for Man-1/2 Armor

Credit Line: Armor: Gift of Alan Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, 1950 Mail Sleeves: Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Bequest of Bashford Dean, 1928

source: Metropolitan Museum, NY (Permalink)

The Best-Dressed Way to Say Goodbye

A show of mourning clothing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art reveals how high fashion dramatically presented itself at 19th-century funerals.

All-black attire hasn’t always been reserved for coffee shop poets and champagne-sipping fashionistas. Up until the turn of the 20th century, it was almost exclusively a sign of mourning: women publicly showing respect for the loss of a loved one.

But, somewhere between the fury of the industrial revolution and women’s liberation, the tradition itself died out, leaving only a brief implication that lingers in graveyards and funeral services with fleeting significance.

Now, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is revisiting the trend, taking visitors back to black with the debut of the Anna Wintour Costume Institute’s first fall exhibition in seven years. Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire, which opens [Tuesday, October 21st], explores the custom of mourning dress from 1815 to 1915.

[Read more]

Peru seeks repatriation of 400 cultural artifacts from New York

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art currently houses hundreds of artifacts from the Mochica culture— and Peru wants them back.

Peruvian cultural artifacts are making their way home from all over the world— Sweden’s return of the Paracas textiles being a particularly high-profile incidence of repatriation. Now, the regional government of Piura is looking to get back 400 pieces currently housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

El Comercio reports that the pieces in question were found in the Loma Negra cemetery, an area in which a number of Mochica elite were buried. Grave robbers sacked the tombs in the 1960s, and no extensive investigation into the site has been carried out, writes El Comercio. Read more.


"Formal Kimono", 60 x 48 inches, Hand Dyed Anodized Aluminum, Blackened Steel, 2014. Miya Ando

Dressed to Kill, on December 2 in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, will also include artist Miya Ando, who draws on her experience growing up in a family of Buddhist priests and sword makers to create paintings and sculptures out of steel, aluminum, and copper. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Miya in her studio, where she was creating the kimono seen below out of anodized aluminum. Her story is fascinating, and in this excerpt from our conversation found below, you’ll get a taste of what she’ll bring to this SPARK talk.

Miya Ando

美夜 安籐

The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently received a major gift of art created by African-American artists from the South. Reflecting on the donation, Sheena Wagstaff, chair of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, told Paige Williams:

The most important aspect is that the collection adds to the American story of twentieth-century art—not the African-American story but the American story.

Read more, and take a look at some of the pieces.

Above: Untitled work by Mary T. Smith