J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

“Head for Fashion” Conference at Williamsburg, 14-16 Nov.

Colonial Williamsburg has announced a conference in November titled “A Head for Fashion: Hair, Wigs, Cosmetics, and Jewelry, 1600-1900.” Its announcement says:
Colonial Williamsburg is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Kings Arms Barber and Wig Shop by hosting a conference on wigs, hair, makeup, and accessories of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The program will examine how “fashion from the neck up” changed over time, reflecting changes in taste, the personal images people wished to present, affluence and class, and sheer practicality.

Colonial Williamsburg wigmakers and other tradespeople, historians and interpreters, will be joined by noted guest speakers to present talks on wigs, hairstyles, cosmetics, jewelry, and related topics. These presentations will be interspersed with demonstrations and panel discussions.

As we put this program together, we realized that there is little published information specifically about these topics, and it is difficult to find anything that brings them all together. This conference will help to fill that gap, for scholars, curators, museum interpreters, reenactors, theatre costumers, and anyone who is just plain interested.
Sessions include “Understanding the Oorijzer: Ear Irons of the 17th Century,” which manages to offer two terms for the same thing and yet remain baffling. Fortunately, there is the internet.

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