The woman who lost her balance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last Friday and created a six-inch tear in a 105-year-old painting by Pablo Picasso did quite a bit of damage. Although the work will be restored over the coming weeks—and the gash will resemble a "tiny pencil line, if that" once that's done—an appraiser says the $130 million painting may be worth half as much following the accident. [NYT, NYP]
Tom Hoving, the former head of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, died this morning, reports Michael Gross, the author of Rogues' Gallery, the tell-all about the museum that was published this past spring. A "scholar, curator, commissioner of parks in New York City, bestselling author, magazine editor, raconteur, and perennial thorn in the side of the museum mafia," Hoving long had testy relations with the man he picked to succeed him, Philippe de Montebello. But the two men settled their differences in the days leading up to Hoving's death, says Gross. "The city of New York and the museum world will be far less fun without him." [MGross.com]
We knew Michael Gross's exposé of the Metropolitan Museum of Art would ruffle feathers. It's juicy stuff, clearly. But we didn't expect it would be banned. But that's what seems to be happening. The Independent reports that Amazon's British arm has stopped selling Gross's Rogues' Gallery "for fear of action from a libel tourist," namely Annette de la Renta, the museum vice chair and wife of designer Oscar de la Renta, who has threatened Gross with a libel suit. The ban isn't limited to foreign retail outlets, however.
Michael Gross' hotly anticipated tome about the Metropolitan Museum, Rogues' Gallery, arrived in bookstores last week. An account of the museum's "history of curatorial excellence, social climbing, and skullduggery," the book is full of salacious detail about some of the most prominent members of the New York society. But you won't hear much about the book's juiciest bits in the mainstream media coverage. Could it have something to do with the fact that Gross delves into the murky past of Oscar and Annette de la Renta, a couple at the very top of the social pyramid?
Fashion's biggest event of the year, the Met's annual Costume Institute Gala, took place last night. The evening wasn't without some drama: Designer Azzedine Alaïa, who felt his work was underrepresented in the "Model as Muse" exhibit, asked several of the models who he had dressed for the party to skip it, and both Naomi Campbell and Stephanie Seymour complied. But 650 other celebrities, designers, and models—including co-chairs Marc Jacobs, Kate Moss, and Justin Timberlake—braved the controversy (and rain) and walked the red carpet anyway. A few photos of the hits and misses after the jump.
Michael Gross's book about the Metropolitan Museum doesn't come out for a few weeks, but it looks like some members of the museum's board—including Henry Kravis, Henry Kissinger, and Annette de la Renta—are already unhappy with the tome. Although the Met refused to cooperate with Gross on Rogues' Gallery, a Met official conceeded recently that "some staff and alumni have answered questions." This probably means you won't be able to pick up a copy at the museum's official gift shop, although considering many of them are now closing, that may not matter all that much. [NYM]
♦ Kate Moss is joining honorary chair Marc Jacobs as co-chair of the next Costume Institute Gala Benefit at the Met, along with Anna Wintour and Justin Timberlake. [Telegraph]
♦ Jacobs will also be hosting Housing Works Fashion for Action auction on November 13th. And it's not just his karma bank that's overflowing: He just signed a five year deal with Staff International SpA to produce a men's collection. [Fashionista, WWD]
♦ Mark your calendars: On November 25th, Sarah Jessica Parker's familiar voice will be the one you hear when you take the audio tour of the "Costume: The Art of Dress" exhibit at the Costume Institute. [The Pipeline]
♦ Armani has signed Victoria Beckham to appear in the new campaign for Emporio Armani underwear. You'll have to wait until spring '09 to see the Mert and Marcus-shot ads. [WWD]
♦ He's not crazy, he's just, uh, spiritual: Elton John apparently only eats off Versace crockery because he believes "the designer's spirit lives in every plate." [NYP via Racked]
♦ Narciso Rodriguez doesn't talk about his recent split with Liz Claiborne, but he does share a bit about his forthcoming book which will be published by Rizzoli later this month. [stylefile]
♦ Finally! Nicole Richie's jewelry line is now on sale. [The Cut]
The decision to name a relative unknown, Thomas P. Campbell, to succeed Philippe de Montebello as director of the Metropolitan Museum has led some of his frenemies to make comparisons to Sarah Palin. Campbell's response at a press conference today? "I don't hunt and, to the best of my knowledge, I don't have a 17-year-old who is pregnant." [NYM/Vulture]
The Metropolitan Museum wasn't especially pleased when it was revealed to be the subject of Michael Gross's latest juicy tome, Rogues Gallery: The Secret History of The Moguls and the Money That Made the Metropolitan Gallery. A dispute over cover photo rights was settled several months ago; now GalleyCat reports that the book, which promises to unveil "the secrets behind the upper class's cultural and philanthropic ambitions," is scheduled for an April release. [GalleyCat]