traveling selection of hats, helmets, bonnets and caps
once owned by Dr. Seuss has stopped off at a Laguna
Beach, Calif., art gallery.
touring “Hats Off to Dr. Seuss!” exhibit is part of
a yearlong celebration to mark the 75th anniversary of
Theodor Seuss Geisel’s second book, “The 500 Hats of
Bartholomew Cubbins,” and it is the first time the
eclectic collection of headgear, curated by Chase Art
Cos., has traveled outside the Seuss estate.
to press materials accompanying the exhibit, the good
doctor (who died in 1991) was “an avid hat collector
known to wear one of his crazy hats for inspiration
while writing, and at dinner parties it was often a
tradition for each guest to wear a hat. … In his
artwork, as in his personal life, Dr. Seuss … was
aware of the inherent magic in hats.”
black-and-white convict caps, a teeny tiny sombrero, a
black topper, Chinese caps, white fuzzy marching band
busbys, fierce-looking pickelhaubes (the spiked helmets
once favored by the Prussian military), embroidered
naval caps and all manner of fancy, floppy felt chapeaus
festooned with colorful Seussian-appropriate plumage.
the hats, there are two in particular that will make a
Seussophile’s heart grow three sizes. The first is a
towering stovepipe top hat with three wide horizontal
bands of red interspersed with two of white — the
sartorial calling card of the Cat in the Hat himself.
Though the exhibit doesn’t solve the riddle of which
came first — this hat or the cat’s — it’s fun to
see this one up close.
second hat is a simple, unassuming cap of red felt with
a sloping crown and accented with a single large white
feather — a hat nearly identical to Bartholomew
Fingerhut Gallery of Laguna Beach will host the hat
exhibit through June 2.
miss the cat’s many hats this time around, the touring
exhibit’s full schedule can be found at www.drseussart.com/hatsoff.