Private Collection Unveiled: The many hats of Dr. Seuss come to Chicago

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The fact that the Cat in the Hat wore a banded topper makes a lot more sense when you consider Dr. Seuss’s passion project: A hat collection.

There’s a red and white striped hat, a la the Cat in the Hat. There’s a helmet-like hat, a la the top pieces oft worn by Thing 1 and Thing 2. And there are feathered hats and bedazzled hats and high hats and low hats that all apparently added to the character of Seuss’s beloved characters. These toppers are all part of a 26-piece, “Hats Off to Dr. Seuss” collection coming to Water Tower Place (835 N. Michigan) from Sept. 19 to Oct. 12. Original artwork is also part of this Seuss experience.

Seuss, born Theodore Seuss Geisel, believed hats were the exclamation point of a person’s character. His sister, Marnie, said the following in 1937 to theSpringfield Union-News: “Ted has another peculiar hobby—that of collecting hats of every description. Why, he must have several hundred and he is using them as the foundation of his next book. I have seen him put on an impromptu show for guests, using the hats as costumes. He has kept a whole party in stitches just by making up a play with kitchen knives and spoons for the actors.”

That book, “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins,” celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2013.

For a video preview check this out:


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