It will feature about 250 objects, including womenswear and menswear, as well as sculptures, paintings and drawings ranging from the 17th century to the present day.
The exhibit will include the work of designers renowned for their campy aesthetic, including Virgil Abloh, Franco Moschino, Jean-Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Jeremy Scott and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.
Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, has framed the exhibition around Susan Sontag's 1964 essay "Notes on Camp." In her seminal work, Sontag defined the "camp sensibility" as an ode to "the unnatural" and to "artifice and exaggeration." Although the word "camp" is often used as a synonym for "kitschy" and "flamboyant," the essayist offered a more nuanced definition. "The whole point of Camp is to dethrone the serious. Camp is playful, anti-serious. More precisely, Camp involves a new, more complex relation to 'the serious'. One can be serious about the frivolous, frivolous about the serious," she wrote.