Museum hosts hair jewelry exhibition
May 17, 2013 | 2393 views | 0 0 comments | 337 337 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BENNINGTON- On Saturday, May 18 from 10 am to noon, and 1 to 4 pm, Lucy Cadwallader will be at the Bennington Museum to demonstrate the art of Victorian hair jewelry. This program is being held in conjunction with “Victorian Extreme: Fancywork and Steampunk, 1850 to Now” exhibit on view through May 27. Watch the artist create bracelets, necklaces, and more made from human hair. See how this intricate art is created. This event is included with museum admission.

Cadwallader and her family began Civil War re-enacting in 1992. Her love of the hobby led her to the art of Victorian hair jewelry. When her family became involved with the 2nd Maryland Company A, a family-based unit, in 1992, Cadwallader was asked to explain women’s attire from the 1860s at a local elementary school. Each year the artist would research a new topic to add to the fashion show. One year was parasols, then fans, another year caps and bonnets. Cadwallader researched jewelry and learned that during the 1860s women’s fashion and jewelry were influenced by Queen Victoria.

The queen’s mother died in March and her husband died in December 1861. Going into deep mourning that lasted the rest of her reign, she wore all black and later introduced hair jewelry to her attire. With the onset of the Civil War in 1861, Queen Victoria’s mourning customs became popular in the United States. The idea of having jewelry woven from hair to help mourn the loss of a loved one seemed unique and lovely to Cadwallader and she took the challenge to learn more about this lost art seriously. Visit or call (802) 447-1571 for more information.
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