The Dayton Art Institute (DAI) will present the first of the museum’s centennial Focus Exhibitions, Dorothy Height’s Hats, on view from March 23 through June 23. The DAI is proud to present this exhibition, with all hats on loan from the Dorothy I. Height Education Foundation.
Dorothy Height’s Hats features hats worn by Dr. Dorothy Irene Height (1912–2010), an author and icon of civil rights who was known for her leadership, courage, determination, and hats! This exhibition will explore the life of Dr. Height by bringing together 43 of her favorite and most iconic hats.
“It is an honor to present these beautiful hats that belonged to Dr. Height, someone who was such an important figure in the fight for equal rights for all,” states Jerry N. Smith, DAI Chief Curator. “The hats, many made by top designers, are like sculptures in fabric and can be enjoyed as such. However, knowing who wore them makes each that much more significant.”
Dr. Height was an activist in the struggles for equality and was given the name “Godmother of the Civil Rights Movement” by President Barack Obama. Hats, often called “crowns” by the African-American community, became a symbol of Dr. Height’s personality. She helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Dr. Height also served as the president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years and had notable involvement with national organizations such as the YWCA and the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
She has been recognized by many groups and world leaders, and received 36 honorary doctorate degrees, the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1994) and the Congressional Gold Medal (2004). She was memorialized on the 40th U.S. Forever Postage Stamp in the Black Heritage series, in 2017.
Admission to Dorothy Height’s Hats is included in the museum’s suggested general admission.
An Afternoon with Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole
President, National Council of Negro Women
Sunday, March 31, 2019, 3 – 5 p.m.
$25 members, $35 non-members
In celebration of the Focus Exhibition Dorothy Height’s Hats and Women’s History Month, join us for a special presentation by Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole in the Mimi & Stuart Rose Auditorium, followed by a dessert and champagne reception in the Shaw Gothic Cloister. Watch for a separate Facebook event for this talk!
To learn more about Dr. Dorothy Height, join Dr. Jerry N. Smith, Chief Curator, on Saturday, May 18 at noon, for the museum’s Language of Art program. The topic of the May 18 session will be Dr. Height’s autobiography Open Wide the Freedom Gates: A Memoir (2003). Conversation follows in Leo Bistro, where food and drink are available for purchase. The Language of Art is FREE for members and included with suggested general admission for non-members. Space is limited and advance reservations are encouraged.
For more information about the Dayton Art Institute and its centennial celebrations, please visit www.daytonartinstitute.org or call 937-223-4ART (4278). Tickets for most Dayton Art Institute events, exhibitions and programs may also be purchased online atwww.etix.com.