Challenging Norms: The Rise of Fashion Museology

 CAA Advancing Art & Design 2018 Annual Conference

Date: February 21-24, 2018

Location: Los Angeles, CA


The 2018 Annual Conference will include over 300 themed sessions, covering discussions on medieval tapestry, contemporary issues in Latinx art, and community engagement through the arts, among many other topics. The Annual Conference will include its Annual Artist Interviews, as part of ARTspace, made possible in part with a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The schedule for the 2018 Annual Conference is packed with more professional-development workshops than ever, a long list of LA-museums and cultural institutions our attendees can visit for free with their conference badges, and Special Events like a reception at The Getty, guided tours of “Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth” at The Broad, and breakfast at LACMA, to name a few.


New Developments In Museum Practices

Thursday, Feburary 22, 2018

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

LA Convention Center

Room 408A


“Future, Present, Past: Germano Celant and the Tenses of Italian Art History”
Sasha Goldman, Boston University

“New Foreign Language Pedagogies in the Academic Art Museum: A Faculty Seminar Case Study”
Jodi Kovach, Gund Gallery, Kenyon College

“Challenging Norms: The Rise of Fashion Museology”
Neil Wu-Gibbs, Independent Curator and Fashion Historian

“An Artworld Glimmer Against the Darkening Turkish Skies”
Michel Oren, Independent Scholar

“Rescued From Oblivion: A Look into the Vaulted Masterpieces in Iran “
Zahra Faridany-Akhavan, Independent Scholar



The power of technology and social media has given rise to further global interest in fashion, as evidenced by the increasing number of fashion exhibitions in museums. Museumgoers consider this kind of show a new form of fashion education and are often willing to adopt this way of learning about fashion history and understanding the industry. However, numerous museums that boast extensive collections of well-preserved historical dress, ethnic costumes, and textiles are currently facing multiple challenges and opportunities in light of fashion museology’s international emergence. While fashion exhibitions are generating the most they have ever garnered in terms of attendance and revenue for institutions, an ongoing debate has persisted over the past decade among critics, scholars, and curators: Does fashion belong in museums? Answering this requires nuance; thus, this presentation will explore three contemporary fashion exhibitions from the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: the Spring 2017 exhibition “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” the Spring 2016 exhibition “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology,” and the Spring 2015 exhibition “China: Through the Looking Glass.” With a focus on practical issues and innovative curatorial solutions, it will contribute to the interdisciplinary field of fashion studies by outlining new practices of fashion curatorship and formulating theoretical approaches for more inclusive fashion museology.


Convocation Keynote Speaker

Charles Gaines is an LA-based artist whose complex grid-work and mapping pulls from conceptual art and the field of philosophy. More on Charles Gaines and his 2015 solo show at the Hammer Museum, “Charles Gaines: Gridwork: 1975-1989.”


2018 Distinguished Scholar

Wu Hung is the Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History and East Asian Languages & Civilizations at The University of Chicago. Wu is a scholar of traditional and contemporary Chinese art and a curator.