Edgar Degas’s fascination with high-fashion hats and the young women who made them is the inspiration for this groundbreaking exploration of the Paris millinery trade from about 1875 to 1914. Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade will feature 60 paintings and pastels, including key works by Degas that have never been exhibited in the United States, as well as an array of period hats.
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’s decades-long study of Parisian modern life. The exhibition situates Degas’s output within the context of the work of his fellow Impressionists who were also fascinated by hats, including Edouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassatt, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The exhibition relates these artists to the enormous industry of hat production and consumption in Paris in the late-19th and early-20th century.