- Kristopher Fraser |
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is losing one of its most powerful forces behind the scenes. Harold Koda, the curator in charge of the Met, has announced that after a long and successful career he will be retiring at the early part of next year. A spokesperson for the Costume Institute has declined to comment on Koda's retirement, but Koda himself has confirmed that his departure is on the horizon.
Many are worried about what Koda's retirement could mean for the Costume Institute, however, Koda and his 30-person team are working around the clock to ensure that there every program planned for the next year shall go off without a hitch. He has assured everyone around him that the transition will be as seamless as possible.
While Koda has helped bring the world some of the most glamorous exhibitions, including the current "China Through the Looking Glass" exhibition which has shattered Met attendance records, he's also been the force behind several other key Costume Institute initiatives. In 2008, he helped secure the deal with the Brooklyn Museum to share their American and European collection with the Met. Koda returned to the Met in 2000 after several years away to head up the Costume Institutes de-concessioning, a tedious order given the level of respect and subjectivity that must be given to each piece.
In an interview with WWD, Koda spoke with certainty that the Met would continue its bright and promising future. “If there’s anything, my greatest acquisition has been getting Andrew Bolton from the [Victoria and Albert Museum] and putting together all of these incredible things that people don’t see. But they are as important than the more visible aspects of our department,” Koda said. “I can’t imagine anything going wrong with this. All of the pieces are in place.”