Tag Archive for: The Garden of Time

Short Story Provides Met Gala Theme

by Paula Gail Benson

This year’s Met Gala, the annual event held as a fund raiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute drew its theme, “The Garden of Time,” from the name of a short story by J.G. Ballard. Here’s a link, if you want to read the story:

Read the 1962 Short Story That Inspired This Year’s Met Gala Theme ‹ Literary Hub (lithub.com)

In LitHub, the story is described as: “Count Axel and his wife live and listen to Mozart in a magnificent villa, surrounded by a garden of crystal flowers, as an angry and unruly army advances upon them. To keep the ‘approaching rabble’ at bay, Axel must turn back time by plucking the flowers, one by one, until they are all gone, and there is no time left.”

True to the theme, the gowns and suits worn to the Gala featured images of flowers, aristocracy, and time.

1st Edition Hardcover (Wikipedia)

Ballard (whose name was James Gordon) was born in Shanghai International Settlement in the Republic of China where his father, a chemist, became the chairman and managing director of the China Printing and Finishing Company. During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army occupied the settlement and imprisoned the Allied civilian families. From his experiences during this time, Ballard wrote the semi-autobiographical novel Empire of the Sun, which became a film written by Tom Stoppard and directed by Steven Spielberg.

Today, as we celebrate Memorial Day, let us remember those who gave their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces. We acknowledge with gratitude their sacrifice and wish comfort and peace for their families.