Through a groundbreaking exploration of Edgar Degas' fascination with high-fashion hats and the young women who made them, Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade
features an array of period hats and 60 paintings and pastels, including key works by Degas that have never been exhibited in the United States.
Organized by the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the exhibition is the first to examine a crucial and little-known area of Degas' decades-long study of Parisian modern life in the midst of a remarkable golden age in millinery production. Degas' output during this period is presented within the context of the work of his fellow Impressionists who were also fascinated by the intricate and extravagant creations of the milliners who inspired them, including Édouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassatt, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The exhibition also features hats which reveal the innate sense of design and mastery of materials of the greatest milliners of the period such as Caroline Reboux, Madame Georgette, and Jeanne Lanvin.
Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade
is curated by Simon Kelly, the Museum's curator of modern and contemporary art, and Esther Bell, curator-in-charge of European painting at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Christie's. The St. Louis presentation is generously supported by the William T. Kemper Foundation—Commerce Bank, Trustee. Financial assistance has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.