Poke Bonnet, ca. 1830s-1850s

“I consider that without hats, an intrinsic part of fashion, we would have no civilization.” – Christian Dior

Hats Off to History and Art is a collaboration between the Peabody Historical Society and the Peabody Art Association. PAA artists were invited to create art based on historic and vintage hats in the collection of the Peabody Historical Society. The show features a variety of period hats, ranging from poke bonnets to pillboxes to straw hats, all from the Society’s collection. The hats date from the mid-19th century up to the 1970s and traces the evolution of headwear. “Poke bonnets” (above) were so-called because the wearer could poke up all of her hair beneath it. By contrast, cloche hats of the 1920s (below) were fitted close to the head – perfect for the short, bobbed hairstyles women sported during that decade. The show also features a large selection of vintage hats from the 1950s and 60s, an era of glamor and sophistication in which a woman wasn’t considered properly dressed for leaving the house unless she wore a hat and gloves. The show also includes a selection of men’s hats, including military hats.

Hats off to History and Art is on view through August 31st at the Peabody Historical Society’s Osborn Salata House, 33 Washington Street in Peabody. For more information visit www.peabodyhistorical.org.

Cloche from the 1920s