Hats Off to Dr. Suess

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The first recorded mention of Dr. Seuss’s hat collection came from his sister, Marnie, who visited in the autumn of 1937. She reported, “Ted has another peculiar hobby—that of collecting hats of every description. Why, he must have several hundred and he is using them as the foundation of his next book. I have seen him put on an impromptu show for guests, using the hats as costumes. He has kept a whole party in stitches just by making up a play with kitchen knives and spoons for the actors.”

In his artwork, as in his personal life, Dr. Seuss saw hats as transformational. Far beyond their functionality, hats were the accent—the exclamation point—on a person’s behavior.

Throughout his lifetime, Ted Geisel created paintings and collected hats which he secreted away in a hidden closet at the Seuss Estate.

The Hats Off to Dr. Seuss! Exhibition delivers a unique opportunity to view Dr. Seuss’s superb hat collection and view their direct impact on his works of art. Traveling in a specially retrofitted old fashioned steamer trunk, the exhibit will be on display at Art Leaders Gallery in West Bloomfield September 20 through October 6.

The Art of Dr. Seuss curator, Bill Dreyer, will be on hand to unveil the hat collection at the opening evening event from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Saturday, September 21. He will deliver a speech about the exhibition at 7pm. “We are honored to have the opportunity to exhibit this collection in Detroit. Hats Off to Dr. Seuss! is an incomparable exhibition as this is the first time any of these hats have traveled outside the Seuss Estate. The exhibition will also feature Dr. Seuss’s Secret Art collection, a series of Estate authorized works adapted from Ted Geisel’s original drawings, paintings, and sculpture,” he remarks.

The show features never-before-seen hats from Dr. Seuss’s Private Collection along with over 80 works of limited edition fine art consisting of Dr. Seuss’s Secret Art, Illustrations, Bronze Sculptures and 3-D Taxidermy Sculptures collection. All artwork is available for acquisition. Admission is free.