Kein alter Hut!

Die Kuratorin Jill D’Alessandro arbeitet normalerweise im Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco. Für eine Recherche besuchte sie unser Depot und das Fotoarchiv.

MKB: Jill d’Alessandro, why are you interested in hats?
Jill D’Alessandro: I'm a textile costume curator at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and one of our main donors was a headgear collector. Her husband was a major carpet collector and after his death his wife continued to collect, but in different areas. She developed a very strong interest in headwear from all over the world – especially from Africa and Indonesia.

It is interesting because the collection was put together in the third quarter of the 20th century. So much of the provenance and a lot of the social and cultural background of the pieces have been lost. 

Jill D'Alessandro sitzt an einem Tisch im Fotoarchiv, hinter ihr die grossen, grauen Fotoschränke. Sie lächelt.

Jill D’Alessandro im Fotoarchiv

Why did you come here?
I know that your collections were put together at the turn of the 19th century. That’s really interesting to me because even if our pieces date back to the 19th century, we don’t have the collecting data that your museum has. So it’s really interesting to come to a collection where it’s known who collected it an when they collected it. That’s wonderful research.

Also the size of your collection, it is larger than ours so we are able to see what‘s a variation or what is standard. That’s really exciting to see in your collections.

The depth of this collection was really spectacular.

Der abgebildete Hut ist rund, gleicht einem Sonnenhut und wurde kunstvoll aus Pflanzenfasern geflochten.

Ein kunstvoll geflochtener Hut aus der Naga-Sammlung, Südasien

What did you find?
I found lots of things, both in the photo archive and in the depot. I was really amazed by things from Borneo or by the beautiful collection of plated hats. These are sometimes ritual hats, status hats or just sun hats. The depth of this collection was really spectacular. You also have a really nice Naga collection. That was wonderful. In the African collection I got to examine four different Cameroonian headdresses and that was also really informative.