Ellery Foutch - Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow… or Knot: Combing through Vermont Hairwork Collections
Nineteenth-century Americans often saved or exchanged locks of hair as mementos, constructing elaborate items of jewelry or keepsake wreaths that embodied familial relationships and kinship networks. These tokens could serve memorial purposes or solidify friendships. This material, crafted from the body, was often worn on the body, near the heart, or displayed within the intimate space of the home. In more recent decades, hair has become a potent political medium for artists highlighting feminism and ethnic or racial identity. In this talk, Professor Foutch will share the insights gleaned during a winter-term class inspired by works in local collections and explore the meanings of hair in American culture, past and present.