Posted by / 15 March 2017 /

Degas and the Paris Millinery Trade

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.



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