Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, spoke at the press preview for the event on Monday. “In the Catholic imagination, the true, the good and the beautiful are so personal, so real, that they have a name: Jesus Christ who revealed himself as the way, the truth, and the life,” Dolan explained. Dolan admitted that, he had his own reservations. “In the Catholic imagination, the truth, goodness, and beauty of God is reflected all over the place, even in fashion. The world is shot through with his glory and his presence. That’s why I’m here. That’s why the Church is here,” he added.
The exhibition, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” opens on Thursday and runs through October, includes 40 masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy. Some of these have never been outside of the Vatican. MET President and CEO Daniel Weiss, said that the collection - will enable visitors to go on “a veritable pilgrimage.” Dolan praised the exhibition as “radiant,” adding that the pursuit of the true, the good and the beautiful motivate all of Catholic life. “That’s why we have great schools and universities that teach the truth. That’s why we love and serve the poor to do good, and that’s why we’re into things such as art, poetry, and music, literature, and yes, even fashion, to thank God for the gift of beauty,” said Dolan. The curator of the Met Museum’s Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton, said the costumes are displayed at the Met alongside religious artwork in order to provide context. (Rihanna, left, Katy Perry, center, Madonna, right)