Old and Dusty...
but not forgotten!
The Hunt Family Portable Secretary
The Hunt Family has generously donated a Western "portable secretary" used during the 1800s for writing while traveling or staying at a hotel. This small writing desk was used to complete important documents and includes writing pens and a magnifying glass. The most famous of this type of writing desk was owned by Alexander Hamilton.
Frieda Kraus, a high fashion milliner, artist, and writer, created the tiny hats that are a recent donation to the museum by her niece, Claudia Irmas. Frieda was born in Budapest, Hungary at the turn of the century and came to the United States with her family prior to World War II. She worked at many trades, but high fashion millinery was her passion. The hats are displayed on individual little pedestals in four acrylic cases and they depict worldwide hat fashions from 1910-1950.
The little hats are not just miniature doll hats, but meticulously crafted and colorful hats of many styles: a pillbox, a cloche, an Italian toque, a Turkish Tarboosh, and many others. The collection has been exhibited throughout the United States as well as in the Haaretz Folklore Museum in Tel Aviv, Israel. Be sure to look for the tiny hats in our salute to spring hats exhibit opening in April!