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Local News

June 23, 2013

Well-known artist's hat collection on display

SARANAC LAKE — Straw and fur hats, summer and winter hats, and hats from around the world will be on display at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. 

As the museum’s first exhibit of artwork, “A Life in Hats,” opens Friday, June 28, and features about 40 hats that local artist Ursula Trudeau has collected over the years. 

“For us, we have a personal connection to the Trudeau name, which is the deeper inspiration for the exhibit,” said Amy Catania, the executive director of Historic Saranac Lake. 

The exhibit is featured in the museum that was once a tuberculosis laboratory founded by Trudeau’s late husband’s grandfather, Dr. E.L. Trudeau, in 1894. 

Catania’s idea for the exhibit came when she saw an interesting hat Trudeau wore for an event held at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. 

“She always has these incredible hats on,” Catania said.

Catania thought it would be neat to see the accessories together in one space.

“Ursula is a very accomplished artist so she chooses them with a sense of style and an eye for fashion,” she said.

Each piece on display includes a short caption, but Catania said the exhibit is mostly a visual experience. 

“There are a lot of stories connected with the individual hats,” she said.

With about 80 to choose from, Catania hopes to feature 40 of them. 

“We have way more hats than we are going to fit in the room,” she said. “We are making some hard choices.”

In Trudeau’s travels, she has collected hats from Morocco, China and Russia as well as New York City, Montreal and a store in Lake Placid called Where’d you get that Hat?

In addition to her international collection, she owns a historical hat from a turn of the century military uniform that she bought at an auction. 

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