Hair is community. Hair is power. Hair is an integral part of us, something personal and intimate but also one of the most visible ways we express our identity. We use it to reinvent or disguise ourselves, to assimilate to trends, to rebel against rules and expectations, and to make social or political statements. But hair is more than symbolic; it is an integral part of the universal human experience. Its DNA links us to our ancestors and propels us forward. We keep hair as a token of love and remembrance — a child’s first haircut or strands of a loved one’s hair. Throughout human history, hair has been both a subject and medium in art.

Styling Identities: Hair’s Tangled Histories aims to address what hair means to us — our staff, our museum, and our Hartford community. It is drawn from across museum levels and departments and organized by a team of curators passionate about hair.

The show is on view March 21–August 11 at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut.

To learn more, visit thewadsworth.org.

This exhibition is sponsored by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Anonymous Sponsor, The Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation, the Henkel Corporation, and the Travelers Companies, Inc.

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