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The Met Store Celebrates ‘ The Heirloom Project’ With Focus on Artisans

● The initiative emphasizes artisanshi­p and age-old techniques.


To celebrate the 10th anniversar­y of the Metropolit­an Museum of Art’s reimagined Islamic galleries, the Met Store is touting artisans and age-old craftsmans­hip techniques through “The Heirloom Project.”

After a sampling of the collection debuted last year, the just-released assortment highlights a broader range of designs from more diverse makers.

The developmen­t of the program was put in motion in spring 2021 and table linens from AlNour were initially offered. Madeline Weinrib serves as creative director for the project.

A number of companies and artisans are pitching in with products such as Turquoise Mountain, Zarif Design, Silvia Furmanovic­h, Hanut Singh, Kashmir Loom, Munnu The Gem Palace, Mehry Mu and more. The assortment includes hammered brass necklaces, silk twill kaftans, Kashmiri-style scarves, carved emerald earrings, handblocke­d Indian printed placemats and hand painted bone china, among other designs.

Their designs and other creations will be sold and will evolve throughout this year. The personal stories of the makers will also be told in the months ahead, according to Morgan Pearce, The Met’s general manager of marketing, licensing and partnershi­ps.

Some of the makers — Indian jeweler Singh, handbag designer Mu (who collaborat­ed on bags with Turquoise Mountain that were handmade by Syrian refugees) and Furmanovic­h among them — will be on hand at a four-day trunk show at the Fifth Avenue museum’s mezzaninel­evel store that runs through Monday.

The majority of The Heirloom Project’s partners come from the Islamic world. There is representa­tion from Afghanista­n, Egypt, India, Lebanon, Morocco and Turkey, as well brands from other parts of the world that offered different viewpoints that The Met Store wanted to express, Pearce said. An example would be Furmanovic­h’s “gorgeous work in wood marquetry, which is such a known and beloved Islamic technique. But she has her own spin on it,” she said. Each of the designers will also bring pieces from their own collection­s. “It will be a really special, once-in-a-lifetime opportunit­y to shop these brands that aren’t always available in New York,” Pearce said.

Shoppers will find some of the artisans in The Met Store between 1 and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Acknowledg­ing some of the hiccups caused by the pandemic, Pearce said the event should be a nice moment now that everyone has “come through and made it through as a collective.”

The Islamic Wing is an area that The

Met Store has not explored in depth, and rather than try to replicate things, Pearce said, “We really thought it was important to dive into the area of craftsmans­hip, which is so integral to the galleries.”

The idea of doing something “more authentic and personal” was the idea that Weinrib presented with an emphasis on artisanshi­p, handmade goods and their beautiful qualities that cannot be duplicated on a mass scale, she said. “We’re so proud to get to work with such a wonderful group of artisans who have engaged so thoughtful­ly with The Met and have put so much effort and care into creating pieces despite all the challenges in COVID[-19]. We hope that similarly they will be proud to work with The Met and we can raise awareness of their wonderful brands and the work that they do that may be less familiar to the New York audience.”

Select items from “The Heirloom Project” are available online but the fine jewelry and limited-edition pieces will be available only in stores.

The Met Store also joined forces with Ladurée to create a limited-edition macaron gift box. Designed with an Iznik floral motif inspired by a 17th-century pair of Turkish tile spandrels that are on view in the Islamic galleries, the gift box has six macarons and is a nod to the reimagined Islamic galleries’ 10th anniversar­y. The pastel-colored confection­s are offered in ispahan — a rose, raspberry and lychee combinatio­n — orange blossom and pistachio flavors.

Looking ahead, there aren’t currently plans to open more freestandi­ng

Met stores. However, the museum is considerin­g bringing back some of the outposts that it previously had in different areas like the Islamic Wing and in Modern and Contempora­ry, but not in the immediate term. All in all, the plan is “just continuing to find ways to make that connection between what’s happening in the galleries and then works that are celebrated through product,” Pearce said.

 ?? ?? A D’Ascoli design from “The Heirloom Project.”
A D’Ascoli design from “The Heirloom Project.”

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