The Charles Hosmer - Morse Museum of American Art

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Three Women of Taste and Style— Their Hats from the 1870s through the 1940s

October 15, 2002 through September 28, 2003

Twenty-two hats from the Morse collection, spanning some 70 years in time, tell a story of fashion tastes of bygone eras and of three women who enjoyed selecting styles that best suited their own views of themselves.

Martha Owens Morse (1839–1903) and Elizabeth Morse Genius (1872–1928) were the wife and daughter, respectively, of Chicago industrialist and Winter Park philanthropist Charles Hosmer Morse for whom the Museum is named. Jeannette Genius McKean (1909–1989), his granddaughter, founded the Museum in 1942. The exhibition features bonnets, cloches, and flowery straws bearing labels from Chicago, New York, and Paris—all expressing the best of the milliner’s art.


  • Bonnet
  • Bonnet, 1869–72
  • Purple ribbed silk trimmed with velvet foliage
  • Moreau Didsbury, Paris
  • (NY-012-010)