CHAPEAU BAS EXHIBITION! - UNIQUE EXHIBITION OF HATS FROM THE NOVÝ JIČÍN MUSEUM5>
20 June 2017 – 5 November 2017
Nový Jičín is a town in the south-western part of the Moravian-Silesian region in the Czech Republic. It is famous for manufacturing hats, this tradition dates back to the sixteenth century. In 1799, the oldest hat manufacturer in Central Europe was established here. Founded by the Hückel family, known as Johann Hückel's Söhne, this self-sufficient enterprise was the first one in the whole of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to introduce the steam engine to produce hats. Along with the Anton Peschel and Böhm Brothers factories, Nový Jičín emerged as a centre of hat manufacturing. Having entered the foreign markets following the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871), Hückel became the leading hat producer in the world. In 1945, the local factories were nationalized and merged. Since 1946, they have been operating under the name of TONAK.
A collection of unique headgear was gathered together in 1909 in Prague by Otakar Hrabě, the editor of Kloboučnickié listy (magazine). In the 1950s, it was donated to TONAK's hat museum. The collection was first made available to the public in 1949. It is now part of the collection of the Museum of the Nový Jičín Region, and is presented in the Žerotín halls of the Nový Jičín Chateau , the permanent exhibition is entitled "Nechte na hlavě" ("Leave it on Your Head"). Since 2014, a selected part of the impressive collection of the Nový Jičín Museum has been presented in the form of a traveling exhibition.
The cooperation between the National Museum in Kielce and the Museum in Nový Jičín has borne fruit in the form of this exhibition, which can be viewed from 20 June to 5 November 2017 in the temporary exhibition halls on the ground floor of the Old Palace of the Cracow Bishops. It represents the development of headgear from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Items on display represent not only European hats, but also headpieces from Asia (Middle East, China, Vietnam, Mongolia), the Americas (USA, Bolivia, Mexico) and other regions of the world. The exhibits include decorative women's hats, stylish men's top hats and bowler hats, military caps and helmets, traditional folk headgear, and hats designed by Philip Treacy (born in 1967), a famous designer who collaborated with Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan and many others. Luba Krejci (1925–2005), a Czech designer, is another artist whose work can be seen at the exhibition. The unique Czech collection has been supplemented by Polish artefacts, such as Henryk Sienkiewicz's hunting hat from the collection of the palace in Oblęgorek. Visitors can also see a historical hat shop and watch films about the history and manufacture of hats.
Exhibition Curator: Radek Polach (The Nový Jičín Museum)
Exhibition Coordinator: Magdalena Śniegulska-Gomuła Ph.D. (National Museum in Kielce)