Friday, October 14, 2011

Mad About Hats

Dear Friends,

Do you like hats? Are you one of those people who thinks hats should make a comeback?

I definitely am, and that's why I've been a bit absent these past couple of weeks.

I was thrilled to be asked to be guest curator at the Luzerne County Historical Society, for an exhibit titled, "Mad About Hats." As someone with a lifelong interest in both history and fashion, this exhibit was the perfect blend of my interests!

Hats from the early to late 1800s. Aren't they charming?

With the help of the museum's curator, her assistant and my husband, the exhibit was pulled together in just two weeks, opening on October 7.

Children's hats

"Mad About Hats" is accompanying "The Polish in Luzerne County" exhibit, which focuses on the experiences of Polish immigrants who settled here during the "boom years" of immigration in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Fluffy Edwardian hat

I feel extremely privileged to be able to not only view, but handle these delicate millinery works. Some of them are very tiny--I cannot imagine how small the women who wore them must have been!

Some examples from my favorite era, the1920s, including a girls' basketball uniform beanie

They were made from all sorts of materials--horsehair, velvet, silk, ostrich feathers, felt and fur. The clothing of the past seems so much more glamorous than that of today! Not that I would want to be squeezed into a corset...especially in 90 degree weather...

The fabulous '40s. Check out that evening headdress in front, at left!

There are some adorable crocheted baby caps and bonnets. The handwork on them is unbelievable!

More children's hats. So sweet!

Some samples from the 1950s and '60s

Also included in the exhibit is a case of related ornaments, such as hat pins (which are way longer and more pointy than I had imagined!) and combs.

"Mad About Hats" will run through November 12. If you are in town, please stop by and pass a pleasant hour viewing these vintage beauties!

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 


  1. I love hats and have a hat collection. They are not as old as these beautiful hats! Congrats to you!!

  2. Thank you so much! I'd love to see pics of your hats sometime if you'd like to share. I have a couple myself, but they're pretty new. I wish I'd kept some I had in the '80s.