hat (rooster)
hat (rooster)
hat (rooster)
hat (rooster)
hat (rooster)
hat (rooster)
hat (rooster)
hat (rooster)
hat (rooster)
hat (rooster)

hat (rooster)

Bes-Ben (American, 1898-1988)

Currently on View in W309
Image Licensing

Feathers have been used in millinery, for centuries. Laws restricting the use of feathers from wild birds were passed in the early 1900s, but a trend for feathered hats peaked again in the 1950s. This time, mostly domestic and game birds were used.

Bes-Ben started designing hats with this sister, Bessie, in 1920. The hats were relatively traditional until 1941, after which Green-Field’s creativity and sense of humor began to surface in his designs. Constructed predominantly of feathers, this hat or “rooster” literally nests on the head when worn. Influenced by surrealism, Bes-Ben came to be known for unexpected juxtapositions.

(Doyle New York, sale: Couture and Accessories, December 10, 2003, lot 696) New York (c/o Jennifer McCloskey); purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art (2004).

Object Information

artist
Bes-Ben (American, 1898-1988)
creation date
1940s
materials
Feathers, synthetic fabric, grosgrain, metal wire, plastic, buckram
dimensions
12 x 11-1/2 x 11 in.
mark descriptions
Bes-Ben / Chicago
#233
accession number
2003.56
credit line
Mr. and Mrs. William B. Ansted Jr. Art Fund
copyright
© Bes-Ben
collection
Textile and Fashion Arts
colors

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