The Museums at FIT (Manhattan, NY)

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Place Category: Museums and Galleries

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  • The Museum at FIT, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is one of a select group of specialized fashion museums, including the Musée de la Mode, the Mode Museum, and the Museo de la Moda. For the 100,000 people who visit The Museum at FIT each year, we work to create exhibitions, programs, and publications that are both entertaining and educational. The mission of the Museum is to advance knowledge of fashion through exhibitions, programs and publications. Founded in 1969, the Museum was installed in the current building in 1974, and exhibitions began to be presented in 1975. Dr. Valerie Steele has been director of The Museum at FIT since 2003 and chief curator since 1997.

    The Museum at FIT (MFIT) is best known for its innovative and award winning special exhibitions, including London Fashion, which received the first Richard Martin Award for Excellence in the Exhibition of Costume from the Costume Society of America; The Corset: Fashioning the Body, which explored the most controversial garment in the history of fashion; and Madame Grès: The Sphinx of Fashion, a monographic retrospective that examined the working methodologies and unique aesthetic contributions of a great couturier. Recently, the Museum has been mounting even more ambitious exhibitions, such as Gothic: Dark Glamour and A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk.

    The Museum’s permanent collection encompasses some 50,000 garments and accessories from the 18th century to the present. Important designers such as Adrian, Balenciaga, Chanel, and Dior are represented. The collecting policy of the Museum focuses on aesthetically and historically significant “directional” clothing, accessories, textiles and visual materials, with emphasis on contemporary avant-garde fashion.

    There are three galleries in the Museum. The lower level gallery is devoted to special exhibitions, such as the recent Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s and Dance and Fashion. The Fashion and Textile History Gallery, on the main floor, which provides on-going historical context, presents a rotating selection of approximately 200 historically and artistically significant objects from the Museum’s permanent collection. Every six months, the exhibition in the gallery is completely changed, although it always covers 250 years of fashion history.

    Gallery FIT, also located on the main floor, is dedicated to student and faculty exhibitions, such as the Art and Design Graduating Student Exhibition every May, which also fills the lower level gallery and lobbies across campus. Students from FIT’s School of Graduate Studies also collaborate with the Museum’s staff to mount a professional museum exhibition once a year.

    We invite you to gain an intriguing perspective on the culture of fashion through the Museum’s engaging programs and publications. Our educational programming, Fashion Culture, includes free lectures, panel discussions, fashion conversations, and guided tours. The Museum’s most ambitious program, the annual Fashion Symposium, features noted scholars, authors, and curators from around the world.

    In addition to its three exhibition galleries, the Museum is composed of a conservation laboratory, photographic studio, workshop, more than 14,000 square feet of on-site storage space, three classrooms, and offices for 30 full-time employees. Members of the staff of The Museum at FIT have specialized skills in the conservation, documentation, exhibition, and interpretation of fashion.

  • Directions:

    By Subway
    The Museum can be reached by subway: 1, A, C, E, F, N, or R, and the M on weekdays only. Take the 1, N, or R to the 28th Street Station. Take the A, C, E, F, or M to the 23rd Street Station.

    By Bike
    Bike racks are located on the northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 27th Street

    By Bus
    The Museum can be reached by bus: M20, M23, or M34. The M20 runs south on Seventh Avenue and North on 8th Avenue. The M23 and M34 are cross-town buses. The Port Authority Bus Terminal is at 40th Street and 8th Avenue. New Jersey buses go to the George Washington Bridge Terminal, and then take the subway or metropolitan bus line.

    By Rail
    Penn Station is close by at 31st Street and 7th Avenue for the Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, and Amtrak. If arriving to Grand Central Station at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, take the S shuttle subway to Times Square, then the 1 train downtown. Take PATH trains to the 23rd Street or 34th Street stations.

    By Car
    The Museum is located on the southwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 27th Street. Metered street parking is available and public parking lots are located on West 26th between 7th and 8th Avenues, West 28th between 7th and 8th Avenues, and West 28th between 6th Avenue and Broadway.

    From the East (Long Island)

    I-495 West / Long Island Expressway through the Midtown Tunnel
    take the 35th St. exit towards 34th St./ Downtown
    turn right onto E. 34th St.
    turn left onto Lexington Ave.
    turn right onto E. 27th St.
    continue onto W. 27th St.
    From the North (Connecticut)

    I-91 South
    continue onto I-95 South/ Bruckner Expressway, following signs to the George Washington Bridge
    take exit 1 to merge onto NY-9A S
    turn left at 34th Street (signs for Lincoln Tunnel / I-495)
    turn right onto Seventh Avenue, drive south to 27th Street
    From the North (Connecticut)

    I-684 South
    continue onto I-684 South toward White Plains
    merge onto Hutchinson River Pkwy
    follow signs for Cross County Pkwy
    take exit toward Saw Mill River Pkwy
    keep left at the fork to continue toward Saw Mill River Pkwy and merge onto Saw Mill River Pkwy
    slight right at Henry Hudson Pkwy (signs for H Hudson Pkwy)
    continue on 12th Ave/NY-9A
    turn left at 34th Street (signs for Lincoln Tunnel / I-495)
    turn right onto Seventh Avenue, drive south to W. 27th Street
    From the North (Upstate New York)

    I-87 South / New York Throughway
    take the I-287 South / Rt.-17 South exit toward New Jersey
    take exit 15 for NY-17/I-287 toward New Jersey
    keep right at the fork to continue toward I-287 S/NY-17 S
    merge onto I-287 S/NY-17 S
    Continue to follow I-287 S
    take exit 66 on the left to merge onto NJ-17
    merge onto E NJ-4 via the ramp to New York/Fort Lee
    take the ramp to I-95 N/New Jersey Turnpike N
    keep left at the fork, follow signs for New Jersey Turnpike/I-95
    merge onto I-95 N/New Jersey Turnpike N
    continue to follow I-95 N
    take exit 1 for NY-9A/H Hudson Pkwy
    merge onto NY-9A S
    turn left at W 30th St
    turn right at Seventh Avenue, drive south to W. 27th Street
    From the West (New Jersey)
    From New Jersey make your way to I-95,
    follow signs for NJ-495 E (signs for Lincoln Tunnel)
    go through through the Lincoln Tunnel
    take a slight left at W 30th St
    turn right at Seventh Avenue, drive south to W. 27th St.

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  • Directions:

    By Subway
    The Museum can be reached by subway: 1, A, C, E, F, N, or R, and the M on weekdays only. Take the 1, N, or R to the 28th Street Station. Take the A, C, E, F, or M to the 23rd Street Station.

    By Bike
    Bike racks are located on the northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 27th Street

    By Bus
    The Museum can be reached by bus: M20, M23, or M34. The M20 runs south on Seventh Avenue and North on 8th Avenue. The M23 and M34 are cross-town buses. The Port Authority Bus Terminal is at 40th Street and 8th Avenue. New Jersey buses go to the George Washington Bridge Terminal, and then take the subway or metropolitan bus line.

    By Rail
    Penn Station is close by at 31st Street and 7th Avenue for the Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, and Amtrak. If arriving to Grand Central Station at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, take the S shuttle subway to Times Square, then the 1 train downtown. Take PATH trains to the 23rd Street or 34th Street stations.

    By Car
    The Museum is located on the southwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 27th Street. Metered street parking is available and public parking lots are located on West 26th between 7th and 8th Avenues, West 28th between 7th and 8th Avenues, and West 28th between 6th Avenue and Broadway.

    From the East (Long Island)

    I-495 West / Long Island Expressway through the Midtown Tunnel
    take the 35th St. exit towards 34th St./ Downtown
    turn right onto E. 34th St.
    turn left onto Lexington Ave.
    turn right onto E. 27th St.
    continue onto W. 27th St.
    From the North (Connecticut)

    I-91 South
    continue onto I-95 South/ Bruckner Expressway, following signs to the George Washington Bridge
    take exit 1 to merge onto NY-9A S
    turn left at 34th Street (signs for Lincoln Tunnel / I-495)
    turn right onto Seventh Avenue, drive south to 27th Street
    From the North (Connecticut)

    I-684 South
    continue onto I-684 South toward White Plains
    merge onto Hutchinson River Pkwy
    follow signs for Cross County Pkwy
    take exit toward Saw Mill River Pkwy
    keep left at the fork to continue toward Saw Mill River Pkwy and merge onto Saw Mill River Pkwy
    slight right at Henry Hudson Pkwy (signs for H Hudson Pkwy)
    continue on 12th Ave/NY-9A
    turn left at 34th Street (signs for Lincoln Tunnel / I-495)
    turn right onto Seventh Avenue, drive south to W. 27th Street
    From the North (Upstate New York)

    I-87 South / New York Throughway
    take the I-287 South / Rt.-17 South exit toward New Jersey
    take exit 15 for NY-17/I-287 toward New Jersey
    keep right at the fork to continue toward I-287 S/NY-17 S
    merge onto I-287 S/NY-17 S
    Continue to follow I-287 S
    take exit 66 on the left to merge onto NJ-17
    merge onto E NJ-4 via the ramp to New York/Fort Lee
    take the ramp to I-95 N/New Jersey Turnpike N
    keep left at the fork, follow signs for New Jersey Turnpike/I-95
    merge onto I-95 N/New Jersey Turnpike N
    continue to follow I-95 N
    take exit 1 for NY-9A/H Hudson Pkwy
    merge onto NY-9A S
    turn left at W 30th St
    turn right at Seventh Avenue, drive south to W. 27th Street
    From the West (New Jersey)
    From New Jersey make your way to I-95,
    follow signs for NJ-495 E (signs for Lincoln Tunnel)
    go through through the Lincoln Tunnel
    take a slight left at W 30th St
    turn right at Seventh Avenue, drive south to W. 27th St.