WHERE THE HATS ARE - HAT EXHIBITS TO FIT YOUR FANCY

The City of Lakewood will host a Headwear Exhibition from around the World from June 10 through Oct 5

Headdresses, Helmets, Hats: Headwear from Around the World, a collection of headwear owned by Guest Curator Dr. Beverly Chico, will be exhibited June 10 through October 5, 2008, in the Radius Gallery at Lakewood's Heritage Center, 801 S. Yarrow Street in Denver, Colorado.

This exhibition includes over 225 headpieces made from yak hair, straw, wool, metals, plastics, silks and felts, representing over 100 countries and cultures. They range from tribal communities - Philippine Kalinga and Amazon Basin Yanomami (with their reed and animal skull headdresses) - to exotic bamboo or silk headwear of nineteenth-century imperial China, leather plumed helmets of Victorian Europe and fancy twentieth-century toppers.

Dr. Chico's interest in collecting headwear came from her international travel and study of world history. According to Chico: "The head is vital for all human life since it contains the brain, seat of rational powers, four of the five senses, and is the most visible part of the human body. It is only natural that humans have put things on their heads that are important to their respective cultures."

Headdresses include a gilded temple dancer's headpiece from Thailand; a penitente's hood from Seville, Spain; headrings from Rwanda; and a Bedouin woman's head and face veils from Egypt. Helmets cover combat styles of several centuries from a seventeenth-century, iron-and-gold-leaf Japanese feudal protector, to a leather and beaver Napoleonic-era shako with its silver crest and plumes, from a nineteenth-century admiral's bicorne and Scotch highlander's feather bonnet to a U.S. Naval Academy hat tossed into the air by a 1982 female midshipman graduate.

The top hat, invented in Florence, Italy, circa 1750, has a fascinating story. In 1798, haberdasher John Hetherington became the first man to publicly wear a shiny silk plush top hat in England. He was put on trial for breach of the peace, inciting to riot, and attempting to frighten timid people.

A reception for Headdresses, Helmets, Hats: Headwear from around the world will be free to the public, on Thursday, June 12 from 5 to 7p.m.; in the Radius Gallery at Lakewood's Heritage Center, 801 S. Yarrow Street - call 303-987-7850.

There will also be a lecture, From Birth to Burial: Ethnic Expressions of Religious Headwear; (fourteen cultures Asia, Middle East and Europe represented by headwear traditions brought to the U.S. and worn during life-cycle rituals) on September 26, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 303-987-7850. For more information and directions call 303-987-7850 - www.Lakewood.org.

ATHENS OHIO FAMILY IS SHOWING OFF THEIR HAT HERITAGE - Hats Off to the Parker Ladies!

Artist Tanya Thompson is exhibiting her family hat collection called, “Hats Off to the Parker Ladies.” The exhibit will take place through June 12 in the Multicultural Center Art Gallery at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

Thompson said the oldest hat dates back to her great-great-grandmother, Ella Bledsoe Reese Parker, in 1917. The most recent hat is from 2006.

Thompson’s goal is to present her family’s collection in a museum someday. “I want people to understand that we are not hoarders, we are keepers of history. I am blessed to have inherited that trait.”

Thompson’s grandmother, Annie Reba Reese Parker is 102- years-old. “The exhibit really holds a historical significance because it tells a story of one family’s life through hats, and each hat has an individual story to tell,” said a family friend.

Office of Multicultural Programs and Multicultural Center, 205 Baker University Center - Ohio University - Athens, Ohio - 740-593-4027- 740-597-2110