The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives Launches Blog Series on Fashion Designer Charles James


Charles James, 1952. Photograph by Michael A. Vaccaro / LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Look Job 52-1129 Frame-18

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives announces the launch of a new series of blog posts focused on a project to prepare for research the business and personal papers of American fashion designer Charles James:

Widely considered America’s first couturier, James died in September 1978, leaving behind a trove of archival material self-consciously amassed in his Chelsea Hotel apartment during the final decades of his life. This archive—which includes business and personal correspondence, photographs, press clippings, and ephemera—was acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013. Two professional archivists, in consultation with staff from Met’s Costume Institute, will arrange, describe, and rehouse the James papers, with the goal of making them easily usable by scholars, graduate students, designers, and others interested in studying the James legacy. As this work continues in the months ahead, the project archivists will post additional reports on interesting findings among the papers, technical aspects of conserving and organizing the material, and milestones of the life and career of Charles James that are illuminated by the collection.  Please visit the Met’s “In Circulation” blog page here for future installments:

For further information on The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives visit our website:

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