The New Canaan Museum & Historical Society’s new exhibition Hat Madness opens on Sunday, December 8 with a reception from 1:30 – 3:30 pm.
The show explores the history of hats, hat design and hat-making with over 65 hats from its extensive clothing and textile collection. From the simple bonnets worn in Colonial times to stunning pieces of art that were popular in the 1920s to the “Pussy Cap” of the 2017 Women’s March, this exhibition spans more than 200 years. Period garments and related accessories are also on display.
Come learn about the origins of the famous Mad Hatter, a term used to describe the dementia experienced by men in the hat-making business. The mercury used in the production of felt, which was then used for hats, caused the problem. In the 19th century, the Danbury Hatters experienced what was then called the “Danbury Shakes.” Without labor laws to protect them, these workers struggled to keep up with production as they lost their minds. Interesting historical facts and a brief documentary on the hat-making industry in Danbury are also included in this mixed media exhibition.
The show is curated by Penny Havard and runs through March 8, 2020.