Thanks & Acknowledgements

The research and execution of this Men's Hat Exhibit were initiated as part of my Ph.D. program at The Union Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio. As with all projects, both major and minor, the chosen topic has been broadened, enriched, stimulated and nurtured by many players, wearing a variety of “hats,” without whom this exhibit would be impossible. Saying thank you seems inadequate. I hope that this pleasure of sharing this hat experience can help serve as thanks.

Mentors: Florence Brush, Hank Cates, Kurt Daw, Jerry Delamater, Jean Druesedow, Sandy Hurlong, Mary Jane Kaufman, Ann Saunders, “Cowboy Mike” Searles.

Research Resources: Bath Museum, Bath, England; Biltmore Hat Company, Guleph, Ontario, Canada; Bollman Hat Company, Jamestown, Pennsylvania; Bucks County Historical Society, Doylestown, Pennsylvania; Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming; Chicago Historical Society, Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati Art Museum and Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio; National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Denver Historical Society, Denver, Colorado; Denver Public Library, Western History Department; Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, Los Angeles, California; Hat Brands, Garland, Texas; Langenberg Hats, Washington, Missouri; Hat Works Hat Museum, Stockport, England; Kent State University Museum, Kent, Ohio; Luten Museum, Luten, England; Metropolitan Museum, New York, New York; Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio; Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio; William S. Hart Museum, Newhall, California; Richard Albert, Harry Carey Jr., Jack Lambert, Michael Malone, Mel Marion, Meyer the Hatter, James Nottage, Joe Peters Sr., Leo Platteter, Don Reeves, John Secrest, Karl Wenger, Glenn Wright.

Editors: Maureen Fry, Corwin Georges, Sue T. Parker and Robert L. Parker.

Brochure Design: Alan Raney, Richard Spencer.

Graphic Design: Homer Echard, Jimmy Humphries, Susan Rosenthal, Debra Wilburn.

Photography: Jon Barlow Hudson.

Exhibit Support Materials: Bradbury & Bradbury Art Wallpapers, Benicia, California; Gemini Frame, Yellow Springs, Ohio; Calumet Antiques, Yellow Springs, Ohio; Wittenberg University Theater and Audio Visual Department, Springfield, Ohio; Jon Barlow Hudson Sculpture Studio, Yellow Springs, Ohio; Kent State University Museum, Kent, Ohio.

Special Thanks To...

The National Cowboy Hall of Fame, which has been a key research and lending institution to this exhibit in the area of western-style hats. Their extensive collection of nineteenth-century western felts and straw sombrerosprovided the means of studying the actual artifact, and I am grateful for their loan of hats and clothing to this exhibition. A premier institution of western history, art, and culture, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame has an unparalleled collection of fine art and historic artifacts. It is located in Oklahoma city and houses a permanent rodeo exhibit and rotating art exhibits. This summer the museum will open a special children's area - an exploratory mesa.

Laura Wilson, photographer and a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine, the Sunday London Times Magazine, and the New Yorker. Her photographs of Randy and Dick Hash and Ron Keeter appeared in her book Watt Matthews of Lambshead, published in 1990 by the Texas State Historical Association.

By focusing on the historical use of the hat by real cowboys in juxtaposition with the hats of movie cowboys and fashionable gentlemen, the exhibition shows how a costume accessory indicates status, vocation, and myth, and how these change over time. Through the use of real hats, dressed mannequins, hat-making implements and samples, photographs of the hat-making process, and portraits of men wearing hats, the exhibition explores all levels of hat-making, hat-wearing and hat iconography. The exhibit focuses on men's costume and includes a signlficant section on the manufacture of the object. It also details everyday working clothes. The public fascination with the cowboys of legend serves to give the audience a greater appreciation of the role of costume as social indicator.

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All photos and content © 2006 Debbie Henderson, Cowboys and Hatters.No photos or content may be reproduced without express written permission from the author.