February 2013 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Dr. Seuss, Hat Collector

Screen shot 2013-02-05 at 6.05.18 PM.pngTheodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, wore many hats in his time -- as advertising copywriter, Army filmmaker, book editor, children's author and illustrator -- none so colorful as this straw number, one of several hundred in his private collection of chapeaux. According to the New York Times, he kept them hidden in a bookcase in his California home. Twenty-six of the hats are now seeing the light of day in a national touring exhibition, Hats Off to Dr. Seuss.

The exhibit is timed to coincide with the seventy-fifth anniversary (and the new anniversary edition) of Seuss' The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. It opened on Monday at the New York Public Library's Children Center on 42nd Street and will move on to the Animazing Gallery in New York City, from February 13-17. From there, the exhibit travels to fifteen other locations around the country.

The striking thing about the hats is that some are recognizable from his illustrations and paintings. The red Robin Hood cap, for example, appears atop Bartholomew Cubbins' head. And, of course, there's the Cat in the Hat's red-striped stovepipe--Seuss owned one of those, too.

Photo courtesy of drseussart.com