Andrew Bolton (curator)

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Andrew Bolton
Born1966 (age 52–53)
ResidenceManhattan, New York City
OccupationCurator in Chief of the Costume Institute
Known forSavage Beauty
China: Through the Looking Glass

Andrew Bolton (born 1966) is a British museum curator and current Head Curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. Born in Blackburn, Lancashire, UK, Bolton graduated from the University of East Anglia with a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Non-Western Art.[1] In 2017, he was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art.[2]


Bolton came to the Met from London's Victoria and Albert Museum in 2002.[3] In 2002, he joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as an Associate Curator of the Costume Institute.[4] On September 8 2015, it was announced that he would replace the retiring Harold Koda as Curator in Chief of the Costume Institute.[5] In 2015, he was awarded the Vilcek Prize in Fashion.[3][6] Bolton has created and or co-created several critically lauded exhibitions including Savage Beauty featuring clothing created by British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, as well as China: Through the Looking Glass (both with Koda).[3] Bolton exhibitions are known for their, "scholarly rigor....whimsy.... (and) theatricality."[3]

Rei Kawakubo was the subject of Bolton's May 2017 exhibition for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's costume institute.[7] Vogue magazine and the Metropolitan Museum in New York announced that the exhibition dedicated to Kawakubo was scheduled for its 2017 season between 4 May 2017 and 4 September 2017. In an interview with Vogue in April 2017, Bolton stated: “I really think her influence is so huge, but sometimes it’s subtle. It’s not about copying her; it’s the purity of her vision... Rei was really involved in the design of the exhibit”.[8] Bolton also stated that the exhibit would be an austere, all-white maze hosting approximately 150 Comme ensembles. Both the exhibit and accompanying book by Bolton are based upon the recurrent fashion dichotomies concentrating on eight thematic oppositions listed as: (1) fashion/antifashion; (2) design/not design; (3) model/multiple; (4) then/now; (5) high/low; (6) self/other; (7) object/subject; and (8) clothes/not clothes.

Bolton's show, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, opened on May 10, 2018. Bolton described the exhibition as an examination of "the role dress plays within the Roman Catholic Church and the role the Roman Catholic Church plays within the fashionable imagination."[9] The exhibition features objects from the Vatican Collection alongside designs by Gianni Versace, John Galliano for Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and other designers.[10]

Bolton is featured alongside Anna Wintour in Andrew Rossi's 2016 documentary film "The First Monday in May" which is the staging of the Metropolitan Museum's annual Costume Institute Gala.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Bolton lives in Manhattan with his partner of five years, fashion designer Thom Browne.[12][13]

Literary works[edit]

the following is an incomplete list of the literary works of Andrew Bolton:

  • Bolton, Andrew (2002). The Supermodern Wardrobe. New York: V&A.
  • Bolton, Andrew (November 2, 2010). Sui, Anna; White, Jack; Meisel, Steven, eds. Anna Sui. New York: Chronicle Books. ISBN 1452128596.
  • Bolton, Andrew (2011). McQueen, Alexander, eds. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 9781588394125.
  • Bolton, Andrew (and Richard Hell, Jon Savage, John Lydon) (2013). eds. PUNK: Chaos to Couture. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Bolton, Andrew (2016). Manux X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Bolton, Andrew (2017). Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Bolton, Andrew (2018). Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Met Museum Appoints Andrew Bolton as New Costume Institute Curator in Charge". Broadwayworld. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Honorary Fellows - RCA". Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Trebay, Guy (29 April 2015). "At the Met, Andrew Bolton Is the Storyteller in Chief". New York Times. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  4. ^ Tomkins, Calvin (25 March 2013). "Anarchy Unleashed". The New Yorker. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  5. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (8 September 2015). "Andrew Bolton Chosen to Lead the Met's Costume Institute". New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  6. ^ Chilton, Nancy. "Andrew Bolton Wins 2015 Vilcek Prize in Fashion". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  7. ^ Time magazine. Kawakubo announcement of 2017 exhibit. [1]
  8. ^ Lynn Yaeger. "On the Eve of the Comme des Garçons Retrospective, the Notoriously Reclusive Rei Kawakubo Speaks Out", APRIL 13, 2017, Vogue Magazine.
  9. ^ Bolton, Andrew (April 23, 2018). "The Metaphorical Nature of Creation: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  10. ^ "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination". The Metropolitan Museum of Art, i.e. The Met Museum. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Posted December 6, 2016 (2016-12-06). "Fashion Designer Thom Browne's 1930s Manhattan Apartment". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  13. ^ "How Andrew Bolton of Met Costume Institute Spends His Sundays - The New York Times". Retrieved 2018-05-11.