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This is arguably the emptiest week in New York City, with urban dwellers flocking to the coasts for their last fill of the beach before summer unofficially ends after Labor Day weekend. But those who haven't attended the Costume Institute's China: Through the Looking Glass yet might want to head up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art before hopping on the Jitney, since the show will close on Monday, September 7th.
The ode to Eastern fashion and culture that kicked off in May with the annual Met Ball chose to extend its run through Labor Day because of unexpectedly high attendance numbers early on. The exhibit hit 500,000 visitors last month, and the New York Times reports that 735,000 people have attended as of last Friday morning.
That makes it the most-visited Costume Institute show, easily beating out the previous record of 661,509 for Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, though that show had a shorter run despite being the first in the museum's history to be extended. China is also the seventh-most attended exhibit at the museum overall—and it could easily get bumped up the list in these remaining days.
"We were predicting around 500,000 visitors. I never expected this level of response," Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton told the paper. "Honestly, it totally surprised me...I was prepared for it to be polarizing."
He also hinted at what we could expect in the future: Bolton told the Times that he's interested in a conversation between Henry James and Edith Wharton that would explore American menswear, as well as a collaborative exhibit with the Egyptian galleries. But for now, we know we can look forward to an archival display from Countess Jacqueline de Ribes that'll debut on November
To accommodate an expected crush of visitors to China this final week, the museum is extending its hours through midnight on Friday and Saturday. Hopefully, that means no one will have to face lines like this.