Renaming Institutes Just Like The Met Did for Anna Wintour
By now you may have heard that the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute will be renamed the Anna Wintour Costume Center when it reopens in May. Considering that the Vogue Editor-in-Chief has raised “about $125 million for the Costume Institute alone” according to The New York Times, the name seems fitting.
It also brought me back to a Cogitation Leandra wrote in September, where, inspired by a Nora Ephron essay, she asked the question, “If you could have anything named after you, what would it be?”
I guess I didn’t fully understand the assignment as I suggested replacing the noun “music” with “Amelia.” Imagine all of the Google Alerts I’d receive about myself! Others said they’d like to have a vegetable named after them, or a city, or a nail polish color. But none of us (save for Leandra who requested the New York City skyline be changed to Leandra’s Skyline) contemplated the idea of an entire institution being renamed for us — something equally as tangible as “Nora’s Meatloaf” and as widely recognizable as Amelia’s Skyline (you snooze you lose, Leandra) that can also, perhaps, house a grand endeavor you support.
It’s a hard concept to imagine. But maybe it’s easier when considering those individuals who already seem larger than life — like Anna Wintour. So, seeing as I’m not getting any museum wings or sandwiches named after me anytime soon (though if you’re one of those lucky individuals who’s completed an eating contest where the restaurant names an ice cream after you, let me know), I’m going to rename iconic things after iconic people I admire.
I also took into consideration the slightly sterile nature of the name “Anna Wintour Costume Center.” No flourish, no gratuitous adjectives, just facts that explain exactly what it is I’m walking into. I respect that.
Here’s what I came up with:
Phantom of the Opera should be changed to the Musical Where The Main Character Wears a Cape Just Like André Leon Talley. MWTMCWCJLALT for short. So easy you can hashtag it.
Times Square should be changed to Carson Daly Square because during the most important years of my adolescent life, that’s exactly what it was.
Finally, Harvard University could be renamed Jesse Eisenberg Played the Role of Mark Zuckerberg Here School…mostly because I have a hard time disassociating the three, but also because it sounds funny in a good way.
This exercise taught me that I may be exceptionally skilled at naming things. However, I’m honestly much more excited to hear your take. Rename some institutes with people you admire, or after those (like Carson!) you feel deserve some type of monument. Or, if you’re stuck on Anna — aren’t we all? — go to town and think of what else could be named after her. It’s a compliment, after all.
– Amelia Diamond