A black, beaver fur top hat owned and worn by a Mr. Wright at his wedding in Leeds, England. Mr. Wright later moved to the United States and settled in Cone, Michigan.
This top hat is the earliest example in the GRPM's collections and takes the popular "stovepipe" form which features a taller crown than later examples. Furthermore, the hat was manufactered in Paris, a popular destination for furs collected in North America, and the center of the high fashion world.
Great Lakes Fur Traders (after 2015) At the heart of the fur trade was the development of effective communication between two radically different cultures. Both the Native Americans and the Europeans were changed by their contact with each other, yet they managed to create a mutually beneficial system which persisted for 250 years.
Virtual History Scavenger Hunt (June 2020) Use this scavenger hunt to explore artifacts and specimens in the GRPM’s Digital Collections. This scavenger hunt will help you explore key parts of history at several levels - our city, our state, our country, and our world!
Fashion + Nature (April 2022 – April 2024) Fashion + Nature examines the relationships between the natural world and the fashion industry. Clothing has long been produced with natural materials and inspired by the beauty and diversity of the natural world, but the fashion industry has had a largely negative impact on the environment. This exhibit showcases a wide variety of captivating scientific specimens and fascinating garments, to illustrate their relationship to each other and their interconnected histories. Fashion + Nature aims to inspire and educate visitors, encouraging us to become better consumers and reduce the harmful impacts of the fashion industry.