Please Don’t Touch the Magnificent Costumes (All Made of Paper)

The title of today’s post comes from a conversation I had with one of the guards in the gallery.  He has seen two women lie down on the museum floor to look up the dresses ( he thought they had fainted), two men blow on the hanging costumes to get them to move (saliva included) and a 5 or 6 year old ran into the Queen Elizabeth gown the other day.  Today I saw a woman reach to touch the gossamer lace on a collar.  It’s hard to fathom that the gorgeous costumes/sculptures are made entirely of paper but they are.   

Today at the Frick Art Museum we viewed the exhibition of Isabelle de Borchgrave : Fashioning Art from Paper

My sister Mary reads about the Isabelle de Borchgrave paper sculpture commissioned by the Frick after the Peter Paul Rubens’ Portrait of Princess of Condé, Charlotte-Marguerite de Montmorency (1594-1650) 




You can touch the paper on this table in the rotunda.

28 thoughts on “Please Don’t Touch the Magnificent Costumes (All Made of Paper)

    • And you know there are even more so in person, Sylvia. Thanks for looking and leaving a good word. Hope your 2019 is off to a good start.

    • Although she did them all initially by herself, I did read she now has ten assistants/interns to help her create her vision. The one Medici collection took a whole year to create. Hope your 2019 is off to a good start and I wish you all good things.

    • Thanks Pam and Happy New Year to you. You would have enjoyed seeing the gowns/costumes and perhaps they will travel your way.

  1. Wow! Knowing how difficult the sewing would have been….made out of paper……WOW! I would love to see it in person!

  2. That is amazing and wish I could see it. As a side note, Mary is very color coordinated with the costume she’s examining!

  3. Considering the delicate costumes are made entirely out of paper, I find it totally inexcusable that people are actually touching and handing them. Great photos, Ruth!

  4. This paper art is incredible as are the stories about people failing to respect the art.

    But what most caught my attention was the similarities in Mary’s shirt and the dress pattern. Wow. Could she have planned that any better?

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  6. I love the guard recounting the various stories of people doing “unusual” things. And very smart of the gallery to have at least some paper that you CAN touch. 🙂

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