Friday, August 13, 2010

Eileen Agar's Ceremonial Hat for Eating Bouillabaisse

Eileen Agar (born 1899) was a British artist whose paintings and photographs are often associated with the surrealism movement. Agar had an interesting life, as she achieved almost overnight success after the first International Surrealist Exhibition in London at the New Burlington Galleries in 1936. One of her most important contributions to the world of surrealism and fashion- both together and as separate things on their own is her Ceremonial Hat for Eating Bouillabaisse. The hat itself was constructed of a cork base, painted yellow and blue, and was decorated with an orange colored plastic flower, a blue plastic star, assorted shells, two types of coral painted green and pink, two star fish, twists of paper, a very large glass bead, a piece of jigsaw puzzle, a piece of tree bark and a large fish bone. Agar placed a high value on the hat, and kept it in her own possession until her death 1991. The hat is now in the Victoria and Albert museum in London.