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What Hat Is That? A Collector’s Journey of Discovery

Hosted by The Ruthmere Foundation, Inc.

Learn how Stacey Miller, owner of 1,300 head coverings from around the world, evolved from a casual collector of hats and headdresses to an international authority.

July 11
11:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT
Ruthmere Museum Campus/Havilah Beardsley House
102 W. Beardsley Ave.
Elkhart, IN 46514
Free – $5

Event Details

As part of its Global Language of Headwear: Cultural Identity, Rites of Passage, and Spirituality exhibit, Ruthmere will host Stacey Miller, the exhibit’s curator and the owner of Hat Horizons. Miller will present a talk titled, “What Hat Is That? A Collector’s Journey of Discovery.”

Miller is a collector of and authority on head coverings from around the world. Since her first hat purchase in Istanbul when she joined a group of Spaniards driving from Madrid to India on an overland adventure, she has acquired more than 1,300 hats and headdresses from more than 150 countries and many more ethnic groups.

Starting out as a humble assortment of souvenirs, Miller’s hats have been displayed at many museums; have been featured on television, in magazines and in store windows on Fifth Avenue in New York City; and have been used in a variety of multicultural and diversity events.

With every new addition to Miller’s collection, she creates a connection to a culture, its people and their traditions. And most important, each hat and headdress is a reminder of the personal, spiritual and social values that we share, encouraging us to recognize the humanity in all of us.

The Global Language of Headwear runs from July 5 to September 27 at Ruthmere. It features 89 hats and headdresses from 42 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America—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 hats and headdresses communicate timeless ideas—not only of beauty, but also of what it means to be human.

Admission to Miller’s talk is free for Ruthmere members and $5 for nonmembers; it includes a pass to view the exhibit.

For more information about the exhibit and Miller’s talk, visit Ruthmere’s website, call 888.287.7696 or email info@ruthmere.org.

This program received support from an Indiana Humanities Action Grant.