Media alert: Art historian will discuss creativity and exploitation in the Parisian millinery trade

By | February 7, 2017
Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 7, 2017—In conjunction with a groundbreaking exhibition exploring the theme of millinery within Impressionist iconography, art historian Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell will discuss the high-fashion hat trade in Belle Époque Paris at the Saint Louis Art Museum’s annual Mary Strauss Women in the Arts Lecture at 7 pm on Friday, March 3 in the museum’s Farrell Auditorium.

The presentation—titled Working Girls: The Milliners of Nineteenth-Century Paris—is presented in conjunction with Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade, a groundbreaking exhibition exploring the theme of millinery in the work of Edgar Degas and his Impressionist circle.

(To download web-sized images, right click on the images below.)

The lecture is free, but tickets are required and can be obtained at the Museum’s Information Centers or via Metrotix, which charges a processing fee. This program is made possible by the Mary Strauss Women in the Arts Endowment Fund.

In the words of novelist Emile Zola, 19th-century Paris was a “ladies’ paradise.” Exuberant hats adorned with exotic flowers and feathers were displayed in luxurious boutiques and vast, gleaming department stores, and modeled by aristocrats and celebrities.

The exhibition will include 40 Parisian hats, and Chrisman-Campbell will discuss famous makers like Esther Meyer, Caroline Reboux, Madame Josse, and Madame Georgette as well as the anonymous petites mains (“little hands”) who created one-of-a-kind works of art, often in oppressive or dangerous working conditions.

Specializing in fashion and textiles, Chrisman-Campbell has worked as a curator, consultant, and educator for museums and universities around the world. Her areas of expertise include European fashion and textiles and French and British painting and decorative arts of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. She also is a contributor the exhibition catalogue for Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade.

CONTACT: Matthew Hathaway, 314.655.5493,