Apply Today

Old Hat! 100 Years of Headgear

Old Hat! 100 Years of Headgear
April 24, 2014 - December 19, 2014

Old-fashioned, but not out of fashion; old-school, but not behind the times, hats, caps and bonnets do more than cover the head. Prior to the mid-1900s, men and women wore some form of head covering both in and out of the home. Hats and bonnets were made from a wide variety of materials including lace, straw, felt, horsehair, feathers and fabric. Hats provide warmth and protection from the sun, but for much of fashion history, hats were indicators of social standing and personal identity. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, hats were worn by virtually everyone, and the average American bought a hat at least every other year. The embellishment of hats with feathers in the late 1800s led to the formation of the Audubon Society to stop the slaughter of birds for their plumage. The history of hats records much more than changes in fashion; hats are part of a bigger story that includes social, economic and political changes.

This exhibit examines the history of hats and the culture of wearing hats from the 1850s through the 1950s, and includes 65 hats, caps, and bonnets. Artifacts include material from the Museum’s permanent collection, and the collections of the Human Sciences Costume Collection at SFASU, Nacogdoches Historic Sites, Millard’s Crossing Historic Village in Nacogdoches, the Heritage Society Houston, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, and two private collectors, along with photographic images from the East Texas Research Center in the SFA Steen Library.

Top of page

Become a Student Academics & Research Students Alumni & Friends Faculty & Staff Arts & Athletics A-Z List