VMSD - May/June 2020 - 44

Checking Out
Interview by Eric Feigenbaum

Matthew
Yokobosky
The Senior Curator of Fashion and

Material Culture at the Brooklyn
Museum brings exhibits to life by
creating spatial experiences in
evocative environments.
What brought you to a career
in design and fashion?

My interest was there for a long time. When in
school at the University of Pittsburgh, I received
a degree in film studies with an emphasis on
design. At the time I didn't consider exhibition
design as a career option. After graduating, I
got a job as a curatorial assistant in the Section
of Film and Video at the Carnegie Museum of
Art. When I came to New York in 1987, I got
a job as a curatorial assistant at the Whitney
Museum in the film and video department.

44

MAY/JUNE 2020

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vmsd.com

In the evenings I designed sets and costumes
for theater director Ping Chong. I designed
six productions for him, mostly at La Mama
theater on East 4th Street. In 1989, I won a New
York Dance and Performance Award (known
as a 'Bessie') for outstanding set and costume
design. I was then asked by the Whitney if I had
considered exhibition design. I had not thought
of it as an option. I accepted the challenge and
soon worked on a Joseph Stella retrospective at
the Whitney.
What brought you to
the Brooklyn Museum?

I worked at the Whitney for 12 years. I received
a call from Arnold Lehman, then Director of
the Brooklyn Museum. He saw my work at the
Whitney, a Bob Thompson retrospective with
yellow and red walls. He loved it and was very
interested in my work in exhibition design, so I
made a career switch from curatorial to design.
Is fashion an art form?

We are in the museum world. To this day there
are a lot of strata in art. Designers today are
making fashion for a broader public. This, too,
is art.

Retail As Art

Are there similarities between
store design and exhibition
design?
There are so many overlaps between the
two. Both are showing objects, and there is
casework. Of course there are dif ferent
requirements, most notably in lighting. In store
design, the lighting is brighter and helps to
define a mood. In museums, a large emphasis
relative to lighting is conservation. For example,
a work on paper couldn't have more than threeor four-foot candles of light on them.

Last April you curated a show
titled "Pierre Cardin: Future
Fashion." What was it like to
stage a show of that nature?
It began with an introduction and a visit to Paris
to meet with Pierre Cardin. We had a good
rapport and a good meeting. He immediately
asked his assistant to open the archives.
[Pierre] told me that as a child he looked
up at the sky and imagined all the stars were
women in evening gowns. He wanted to make
women look like galaxies. This revelation was an
inspiration to me as I designed the exhibition.

C OUR TE SY OF THE BR OOK LYN MU SE UM , NE W YOR K

And you found your calling
in exhibition design?


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VMSD - May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - May/June 2020

VMSD - May/june 2020
Contents
From the Editor
Vmsd Editorial Advisory Board
The Goods
Design Detail
Retail Rock Stars
Retail Design Firm Resource Guide: Top Design Firms
Coming Soon: The New Reality
This Is Planet Earth
Viral Necessities
Showroom
Ad Index
Checking Out
VMSD - May/June 2020 - VMSD - May/june 2020
VMSD - May/June 2020 - Cover2
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 1
VMSD - May/June 2020 - Contents
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 3
VMSD - May/June 2020 - From the Editor
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 5
VMSD - May/June 2020 - Vmsd Editorial Advisory Board
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 7
VMSD - May/June 2020 - The Goods
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 9
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 10
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 11
VMSD - May/June 2020 - Design Detail
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 13
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 13A
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 13B
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 14
VMSD - May/June 2020 - Retail Rock Stars
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 16
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 17
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 18
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 19
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 20
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 21
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 22
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 23
VMSD - May/June 2020 - Retail Design Firm Resource Guide: Top Design Firms
VMSD - May/June 2020 - Coming Soon: The New Reality
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 26
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 27
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 28
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 29
VMSD - May/June 2020 - This Is Planet Earth
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 31
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 32
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V1
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V2
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V3
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V4
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V5
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V6
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V7
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V8
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V9
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V10
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V11
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V12
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V13
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V14
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V15
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V16
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V17
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V18
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V19
VMSD - May/June 2020 - V20
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 33
VMSD - May/June 2020 - Viral Necessities
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 35
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 36
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 37
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 38
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 39
VMSD - May/June 2020 - Showroom
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 41
VMSD - May/June 2020 - 42
VMSD - May/June 2020 - Ad Index
VMSD - May/June 2020 - Checking Out
VMSD - May/June 2020 - Cover3
VMSD - May/June 2020 - Cover4
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