Have an egg-stra special day.


Young Girl with Cage  by Berthe Morisot

Edgar Degas
Hats off to the current exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum.  Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade (a collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) features works by Degas and contemporaries including Manet, Renoir, Mary Cassatt, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The show assembles treasures from collections around the world and takes you back to early twentieth century Paris.  Hats abound in garden, shop, and street scenes.  Displayed within the works of art are creations by great milliners of the period.

A small sample of hats on exhibit.

A side exhibit offers you the opportunity to design your own hat.  I declined, but in 2001, our Muny Theater sponsored a contest to promote an upcoming production of My Fair Lady.  You were asked to draw a hat Eliza Doolittle might have worn.  One of my designs (shown on the left below) placed third in a category.  The prize was two free tickets to the production. (Third placed us a few rows below the free section.) The Muny, a respected outdoor venue, operates during the summer months.  We were warm in our seats that hot, humid night but it did not come close to what the performers experienced in their head-to-toe Edwardian Era costumes.  I tip my hat to them.
My 2001 hat design entries.

Milliners, typically female shopkeepers, not only constructed hats, they choose lace, trimmings and accessories to complete an outfit.  They were artists with attention to detail down to the hat pin.  Their creations in the exhibition serve as a reminder that the life depicted in the paintings and drawings, while idealized, was real.  I encourage you to attend this exquisite show before it closes on May 7 if you can.