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The Global Language of Headwear Exhibit

1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center

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“The Global Language of Headwear: Cultural Identity, Rites of Passage, and Spirituality” presents 89 hats and headdresses carefully selected from a private collection of more than 1,300 extraordinary pieces of international headwear. This exhibition is in its first stop on a four-year national tour. The show features hats from 42 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America, and is a tribute to the stunning diversity of the world’s cultures. With a few exceptions, the pieces are from the mid-to-late 20th century, and many are still worn today in parts of the world for revelry, ritual, and the rhythms of everyday life. More than utilitarian objects of material culture, each hat is a unique work of art—not merely because of the skill required to make it, but also as a singular expression of creativity and cultural meaning. “The Global Language of Headwear” is organized into five thematic sections: Cultural Identity; Power; Prestige and Status; Ceremonies and Celebrations; Spiritual Beliefs; and Protection. Hats and headdresses communicate timeless ideas—not only of beauty, but also of what it means to be human. The exhibition will be on view until December 31.