An archive of everything worn to MoMA from November 1, 2017, to January 28, 2018

Nov 1, 2017–Jan 28, 2018


Image courtesy of CHIPS
  • MoMA, Floor 3

Artist Emily Spivack invites visitors to The Museum of Modern Art to contribute to An archive of everything worn to MoMA from November 1, 2017, to January 28, 2018 by sending a text message listing the clothing they or their companions are wearing during their visit. Visitors are encouraged to notice and consider the garments on their own bodies and the clothes that surround them. Once completed, this democratically generated archive will have captured an impression of a specific period of time at the Museum through vernacular descriptions of clothed bodies.

Submitted descriptions will be projected in the People’s Studio, on the third floor of the Museum, and accessible online. Upon the project’s conclusion, the descriptions will be submitted to the MoMA Archives to preserve a record of Museum visitors at a specific moment in time through the clothing they wore.

This project, a collaboration with the Department of Education as part of Artists Experiment, is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Items: Is Fashion Modern?

Emily Spivack is an artist, writer, and editor whose work draws from contemporary culture, clothing, history, and our relationship to everyday objects. She is the author of Worn in New York (2017), a contemporary cultural history of New York told through clothing, which is a follow-up to her New York Times best seller Worn Stories (2014) and (2010), collections of stories about clothing and memory. In her column for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, The Story of a Thing, Spivack interviews cultural figures about objects in their homes that provide insight into their interests and quirks. Spivack’s off-site installation for the Honolulu Museum of Art, Medium White Tee, was a fulfillment of President Barack Obama’s stated fantasy to run a T-shirt shack that sold only medium-sized white tees as a respite from his nonstop decision-making. She spent seven years finding stories about clothing from eBay posts for her website, Sentimental Value, which she exhibited in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Portland. Spivack created Threaded, the Smithsonian’s only blog about the history of clothing, and she made, an online archive of nearly 1,000 step-by-step instructions culled from wikiHow.

Spivack has lectured and presented at museums and universities including The Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, New York University, Brown University, Bard College, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She and her work have been featured in The New York Times, New York magazine, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].