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Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

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Item # 80042867
Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination is rated 2.9 out of 5 by 28.
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Description

By Andrew Bolton

With Barbara Drake Boehm, Marzia Cataldi Gallo, C. Griffith Mann, David Morgan, Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi, and David Tracy

Images by Katerina Jebb

This catalogue accompanies The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibition.

Since antiquity, religious beliefs and practices have inspired many of the world's greatest works of art. These masterworks have, in turn, fueled the imaginations of fashion designers in the 20th and 21st centuries, yielding some of the most innovative creations in the history of fashion. Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination explores fashion's complex and often controversial relationship with Catholicism by examining the role of spirituality and religion in contemporary culture. This two-volume publication connects significant religious art and artifacts to their sartorial expressions. One volume features images of rarely seen objects from the Vatican—ecclesiastical garments and accessories—while the other focuses on fashions by designers such as Cristobal Balenciaga, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Madame Grés, Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, Jeanne Lanvin, Claire McCardell, Thierry Mugler, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Gianni Versace. Essays by art historians and leading religious authorities provide perspective on how dress manifests—or subverts—Catholic values and ideology.

Andrew Bolton is Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

By Andrew Bolton

With Barbara Drake Boehm, Marzia Cataldi Gallo, C. Griffith Mann, David Morgan, Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi, and David Tracy

Images by Katerina Jebb

This catalogue accompanies The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibition.

Since antiquity, religious beliefs and practices have inspired many of the world's greatest works of art. These masterworks have, in turn, fueled the imaginations of fashion designers in the 20th and 21st centuries, yielding some of the most innovative creations in the history of fashion. Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination explores fashion's complex and often controversial relationship with Catholicism by examining the role of spirituality and religion in contemporary culture. This two-volume publication...See More

Details
  • Publisher: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Author: 
  • Photographer: Katerina Jebb
  • Includes two hardcover volumes in slipcase
  • Pages: 336
  • Illustrations: 330 in full color
  • Format: Hardcover with slipcase
  • Dimensions: 9'' x 13''
  • ISBN: 9781588396457
Editorial Reviews

"Offers a thoughtful journey through the material…two impressive volumes…"
      —The Art Newspaper

"…breathtaking—with pages juxtaposing religious works of art with fashion (a series of an El Greco with parallel robes from the archives of Balenciaga is a particular stunner) as well as a book dedicated to the Vatican Collection of clothes and accessories—all part of this ambitious display. Essays on how these dresses covertly question Catholic ideology elevate this from just an anachronistic showcase of artefacts to a true celebration of the passion of belief and faith that endures to this day. Wonderful images, stunning pieces (the tiaras of past popes, anyone?)—a great read."
      —Glass

"…as brilliantly produced and visually spectacular as the exhibition…"
"…essays by religious authorities that provide context…are underpinned by Andrew Bolton's erudite Introduction…"
"…breaks new ground…"
"…recommended for established scholars as well as for new students of dress history."
"The photography is exquisite, capturing the materiality of the clothing and the accessories in great detail."
      —The Journal of Dress History

"Sublime catalogue."
      —Le Figaro

"A book like this operates on two levels: As an art object, and as a thesis statement. As an object, Heavenly Bodies is handsome, and […] elevates itself beyond an exhibition catalog."
      —Genevieve Valentine, NPR

"The 'Heavenly Bodies' exhibition catalogue from the Metropolitan Museum of Art features one of the most compelling exhibitions of 2018. The catalogue is comprised of a two-volume set: the first volume has abstract images of the garments from the Vatican and the second volume delves into how those creations have influenced designers in the 20th and 21st centuries. It’s the perfect scholarly analysis of religion's influence on fashion and makes a great gift. That's how I got mine."
      —Carla Camacho, partner, Lehmann Maupin Gallery in The Strategist

"Hard bound in white—the appropriate angelic color—and are housed in a beautiful slipcase...a pretty book to look at."
      —Style Zeitgeist

"Fantastically composed catalog...does a lot of legwork for the viewer, decoding the meaning of certain styles of Catholic dress and explaining the importance of hierarchy and pageantry in the church's public-facing efforts, while also showcasing the elegant simplicity of garments designed for the private lives of the clergy."
      —Steff Yotka, Vogue

"The separate parts might be described as Old and New Testament in the sense that one volume is focused on ecclesiastical masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, some of which have never been seen outside of the Vatican, and the other is dedicated to contemporary fashions that display the "Catholic imagination" alongside the religious artifacts from the Met’s collection with which they will dialogue."
      —Laird Borrelli Persson, Vogue

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Rated 1 out of 5 by from HEAVENLY BODIES CATALOG I hesitated to write this review, but every time I see the catalog out of the corner of my eye, and register the disappointment of opening it and finding it so distorted, so twisted by someone's need to put his or her stamp on what should have been left to stand alone, I am finally moved to respond. The exhibit at the Cloisters was wonderful- this from someone who wasn't that interested-but the beauty, the drape, the simplicity and/or flights of fancy to mirror the natural world were wonderful. The book was an afterthought to capture the moment but when I opened it up and saw the cubed images- the kaleidoscopic twist -I was repulsed. It had robbed much of the beauty of the works for what reason I will never know nor understand.
Date published: 2018-07-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing I wanted to buy the catalog, because it's one of the best exhibits I've ever seen. The exhibit moved me tremendously. But there are 2 massive problems with the catalog, each of which is disqualifying, not to mention the 2 together. 1) the images are hazy, filtered like through a weird Instagram filter, and the clothes aren't crisp, nor are they in color. 2) I recognize & appreciate the attempt to show the vestments in 360 degrees, but the result — the patches of photographs attempting to create an impression of a whole — fails miserably.
Date published: 2018-10-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Frustrating waste This catalog is incredibly frustrating. The photos are murky, distorted, and fragmented, often doing violence to the beautiful cut and drape of the clothes. If I'd known how bad the catalog would be when I was seeing the exhibit, I would have taken photos of my own, despite the guards telling people not to. The text is truly interesting, but even that is hobbled by poor design choices: tiny font and GRAY. What were they thinking?
Date published: 2018-08-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed While the objects are breath-taking, the compilations of multiple scanned images creates pictures where the overall image is broken up into a grid and sometimes the scans have different lighting conditions. This is very distracting. I wish that only some of the garments had been treated to this process and others simply photographed. Also, that the details possible with the scanned images had been included in the catalog.
Date published: 2018-06-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Horrible Every year I see the exhibitions and buy the books to keep it as a reminder and look back at them. This year I was so upset and sadden that such a beautiful exhibition was distorted as such in the book. Why have such a beautiful exhibition and destroy it in the book? I wish I could rate it a solid zero. HORRIBLE JOB!!
Date published: 2018-08-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Beware Nothing in the purchasing information tells you that the images in the catalogue are distorted, pieced together scans of the exhibition pieces rather than an actual catalogue of clear photographs - very disappointed
Date published: 2018-06-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The photography is an embarrassmen to the exhibit. Take photos on your iPhone instead. The collage-style of the photography is distracting and doesn't allow you to properly see the garments.
Date published: 2018-06-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Great Disappointment Amazing exhibition, however the book is a pure disappointment! Pictures don't do the justice, they look like iphone pictures edited with Instagram filters. An attempt to make it modern failed.
Date published: 2018-07-04
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