The Art of Hair Work: Love and Memory in the 19th Century at Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden
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Used as tokens of love, friendship, and remembrance, the objects in this exhibition show changing social customs and popular fashions in the 19th century. Hair work set into jewelry had been produced in Europe for several centuries, but it was not until the second half of the eighteenth century that hair jewelry began to be produced in significant quantities in America. Hair was a natural material for mourning ornaments; however, hair jewelry was also often used for commemorative or celebratory purposes. Part II of the exhibition focuses on the mid-to-late 19th century and the development of hair jewelry in both size and the elaborate nature and variety of designs. Professional hair jewelry manufacturers could now be found along Broadway, and directions for making hair work at home were printed in popular ladies' magazines and instructional manuals. Objects on display include rings, charms, pendants, bracelets and two hair wreaths, one of the more elaborate forms of this art. An opening reception with a lecture by Art Historian and Master Jeweler Karen Bachmann will be held on September 20th at 6pm at The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden. Ms. Bachmann will present 19th-century mourning rituals, focusing on hair work jewelry which reached its zenith during the Victorian Era.