The Hair Museum: Centuries of hair on show
Stars like Lady GaGa and Nicki Minaj have made us re-evaluate the way we look at hair. Hair is no longer seen as a grooming device, it’s art ans parcel of somebody’s look and has been elevated to art form with Lady GaGa’s hair bows and Nicki Minaj’s candy colored hair wigs. They might be bringing this to public attention, but Leila Cohoon has been advocating hair as an art form for many years now.
Leila own the Leila Hair Museum in Missouri, and has curated over 500 hair wreaths and 2000 pieces of jewelry made of HUMAN HAIR. Yes, that’s right, people wore jewelry made of human hair. Leila traces back many of her objects to the Victorian period when using hair in artwork was more common and it was either used as a bodily adornment or as a memorial piece. Some of the items have more than just hair in them- bone fragments and blood might also be part of some of the wreaths!
It’s hard to know what to make of this- Leila is clearly very passionate about hat she does, and it’s interesting that it exists but it’s hard to refrain from feeling a little bit icky at the amount of old hair/blood/bones adorning the walls.
I think it’s important to understand how culture has evolved and the changes in society, and using hair to display this is a unique and arresting way to do so.