15 March 2017

Degas and the Paris Millinery Trade

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The St. Louis Art Museum has an exhibit on the works of Edgar Degas and his fascination with hats, the women who made them and the women who wore them.  The paintings and hats in the displays were from 1875 to 1914.   Sixty paintings are featured including works by Degas that have never been seen in the United States.  There was an amazing display of vintage hats.

I KNOW I would have begged for this hat!
Other impressionists work is displayed:  Edward Manet, Pierre Renoir, Mary Cassatt, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.  These works also show the women in the millinery making hats, with shops full of fabrics and ribbons.  The paintings were of all medium, including pastels.


During this time in Paris, over 1000 millinery shops were in business.  Today there are only 40 such shops in business.   Degas loved the millinery.  It was said that he liked to create hats as well as paint the women wearing them.

My daughter, a professor of fashion, came down to see this special event.  Her dad and I tagged along.  How often do you get an expert to walk you through an exhibit?  We had a wonderful time and saw some wonderful works of art in both paintings and millinery.



After exploring the exhibit, we spent a little time in a delightful gift shop that is set up right by the exhibit.  Full of jewelry, hats (of course) and books of all kinds, including a special book about the Degas exhibit.  If you are in the St. Louis area, it is a delightful exhibit to see.  It is open through May 7, 2017.



17 comments :

  1. Ok, those hats are wicked cool! What a neat exhibit. If something like this ever makes it to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, I'm there!!

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  2. This looks like a fab exhibition and definitely something we would be interested in! I love learning about new parts of history like this!

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  3. I can only imagine going back in time and having to wear those hats. They are gorgeous but probably not comfortable to have to wear all day long

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  4. This place looks so interesting! I would love to explore all of these old items and learn about them.

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  5. The hats are amazing and they're going to leave you in awe! I love how unique each one is. It's an exhibit that's worth going to.

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  6. What a wonderful exhibit, I used to be so much for artistic and know so much about art history, i hope it is something I can get back into!

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  7. Those hats are so neat, and I love the history lesson behind them! What a cool exhibit to see!

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  8. It is so interesting how the times have changed. Hat wearing is such a lost fashion these days. It looks like a great exhibit I hope it comes to NYC.

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  9. This would be great to see. I don't have a fascination with hats but the way the museum displays them, is very breathtaking. I think it would be very interesting to see in person as you did.

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  10. Those hats are fabulous! I can only imagine how extravagant you must feel in those hats. And it looks like a fun day too!

    Belle | www.OneAwesomeMomma.com

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  11. This looks like it would be an enriching experience. It is always something to "go back in time" in reverence of these displays and see how much has truly changed today.

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  12. Looks like you got a little taste of Paris. I love the vintage looks so chic.

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  13. The Hats are amazing! I love hats in general. It gives a fresh look. The place is indeed worth a visit.

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  14. As much as I love modern painting, the impressionist era is some of my favorite. I adore the work of Degas. He really gives you a snapshot of life. Those hats are incredible as well. I kind of wish we still wore them today.

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  15. What am amazing exhibit! I can't imagine wearing those gorgeous hats. They must have cost a small fortune for people back then.

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  16. I love the hats they wore back then. So much fun! I love learning about history!

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  17. Wow this looks like an amazing exhibition! These are really a beautiful part of history, not sure I would wear them though.

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