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Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade
February 12–May 7, 2017
Main Exhibition Galleries, East Building




Mme Georgette, French; Woman's Hat, c. 1910; black lace and artificial flowers on wire frame; 20 x 11 3/4 inches; courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
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 will feature 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.


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Edgar Degas, French, 1834-1917; Self-Portrait in the Soft Hat, 1857; oil on paper mounted on canvas; 10 ¼ x 7 ½ inches; Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA
  • Free for Members
  • $15 for adults
  • $13 for seniors and students
  • $6 for children ages 6 to 12
  • Children 5 and under are free
  • Free on Fridays

Advance tickets are not required, but are strongly recommended for best availability, especially on Fridays when tickets are free. Tickets are available in person at the Museum's Information Centers, online through MetroTix, or by phone at 314.534.1111. Tickets purchased or reserved through MetroTix incur a service charge; the service charge is waived for tickets reserved at the Museum. Advance tickets for Fridays are limited to 6 tickets per person. All tickets, including tickets for Free Fridays, are issued for a specific date and time.

Complimentary Docent Tours

Take a docent-led tour of the exhibition with your ticketed entry every Wednesday and Saturday at 1:15 pm through May 6. Docent tours meet outside the Main Exhibition Galleries in the East Building. Space is limited and early arrival is advised. Tours will not be available the week of February 12, the week of April 30, and during the Museum's Art in Bloom festival due to anticipated crowds.

Group Tours

Guided tours of the exhibition for 10 or more participants are available and must be scheduled online in advance. Requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Please allow at least four weeks advance notice. Group tours are not available on Fridays.

The last entry to Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade is one hour before the Museum closes.

Exhibition Catalogue

A fully illustrated, color catalog with an introductory essay by Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Saint Louis Art Museum, will be available for purchase in the Museum Shops.

Shopping

After visiting the exhibition, stop by either Museum Shop location and explore merchandise inspired by the exhibition. Members save 10 percent!

Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1864-1917; M. Delaporte at the Jardin de Paris, c. 1893; gauache on cardboard, glued to wood; 29 15/16 x 27 9/16 inches; Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. Photo: Ole Haupt

Family Sunday: Passport to Japan

Sunday, February 12, noon–4 pm
Welcome to France
Bring the entire family to the Museum to mark the opening of the exhibition. Join in with flash French lessons, learn about the feathers used by French hat makers, and design a stylish chapeau. Family Sundays are free and occur in Grigg Gallery.

Mary Strauss Women in the Arts Lecture

Friday, March 3, 7 pm
Working Girls: The Milliners of Nineteenth–Century Paris
Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, art historian
This program is made possible by the Mary Strauss Women in the Arts Endowment. This free event occurs in The Farrell Auditorium.

SLAM Underground

Friday, March 31, 7 pm–10 pm
Join us for activities, cocktails, and art making inspired by the exhibition. Admission is free. For more information, visit slam.org/underground or follow us on Facebook , Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter .

Symposium *

Friday, April 21, 5–9 pm
Saturday, April 22, 9:30 am–4:30 pm

This symposium will examine millinery as a key subject for Edgar Degas and his Impressionist circle, situating their images of hat-makers, shoppers, and hats within wider historical contexts of developing fashion, changing attitudes to women, and shifting patterns of trade. $65 General/$50 Members/$15 Students

Class

Saturday, April 29, 10 am–3 pm
Creative Crowns: The Art of Millinery
Join award-winning custom hat designer DI-Anne Isbell for a one-day millinery class devoted to the fashion of 19th century France and the hats and fascinators worn at the time. Class participants will create their own fascinator inspired by the exhibition.
$50 General/$40 Members

Gallery Talks

Thursday, May 3, 11 am
Friday, May 4, 6 pm

This free talk will meet at the Information Center located in Sculpture Hall.

Film and Music

Saturday, May 6, 11 am
Au Bonheur de dames
Step back in time for a glimpse of Parisian life through this 1930s silent film directed by Julien Duvivier. Musical accompaniment provided by Elsie Parker and the Poor People of Paris, who specialize in French popular music. This event occurs in The Farrell Auditorium. (85 minutes)
$15 General/$10 Members

* For more details and registration information, click on the Symposium tab below.
All events in The Farrell Auditorium, including free events, are ticketed.

Tickets to the exhibition and related programs may be purchased or reserved in person at the Museum's Information Centers or through MetroTix at metrotix.com or 314.534.1111. All tickets purchased or reserved through MetroTix incur a service charge; the service charge is waived for tickets purchased or reserved at the Museum. Same day tickets, if available, can be obtained on-site only.

Edgar Degas, French, 1834-1917; At the Milliner's, c. 1882-98; oil on canvas; 24 1/4 x 29 inches; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; Collection of Mr. And Mrs. Paul Mellon, 2001.27; Photo: Travis Fullerton © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Imagine yourself in a milliner's world when you visit the SLAM Explore Lab, an interactive space located midway through the exhibition:
  • Sit, relax, and take a selfie in the SLAM Salon—share your photo on social media with #SLAMSalon
  • Touch the fabrics, ribbons, and flowers painted in Edgar Degas' millinery works of art
  • Be inspired by hat-making guides and stories from a selection of books for all ages
  • View the materials and tools essential to a milliner's craft

Jean Béraud, French, 1849–1936; Paris, rue du Havre, 1882; oil on canvas; 13 7/8 × 10 3/4 inches; National Gallery of Art, Washington, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection, 1970

Members See it Free

Enhance your experience of Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade and other upcoming exhibitions and programs by becoming a Museum Member. For information, visit slam.org/members or call 314.721.0072.

All Members enjoy:

  • Free admission to all exhibitions (two per visit)
  • Invitations to Members-only exhibition previews and special events
  • $5 parking in the parking garage (save up to $10 per visit)
  • Discounts on classes, workshops, and ticketed programs
  • 10 percent discount on shopping and dining
  • Subscriptions to the Museum Magazine, Calendar, and Member eNews

Just for Members

Friday, February 10, 10 am–9 pm
Saturday, February 11, 10 am–5 pm

Member Exhibition Preview Days
Members get a sneak peek of Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade before the exhibition officially opens.

Guillard Soeurs, French, active late 19th-early 20th century; Woman's Hat, c. 1910; plain and basket weave straw, ostrich feathers, silk lace and artificial flowers; courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art , Gift of Mrs. Pierre Fraley
This symposium will examine millinery as a key subject for Edgar Degas and his Impressionist circle, situating their images of hat-makers, shoppers, and hats within wider historical contexts of developing fashion, changing attitudes to women, and shifting patterns of trade.

The symposium is held in conjunction with main exhibition Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade (February 12–May 7).

Friday evening keynote address:


Saturday topics and speakers include:

Milliners
Consumers
Hats

Presenters are subject to change. Please check back in February 2017 for registration information and more details.