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Bes-Ben: The Mad Hatter of Chicago


  • Newfields 4000 North Michigan Road Indianapolis, IN, 46208 United States (map)
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Known for his elaborate, humorous, and flamboyant creations, Benjamin B. Green-Field (1898-1988), the creative genius behind the Bes-Ben label, designed hats using a variety of everyday objects and a wide array of unusual trimmings. The hats were adorned with bizarre items such as fake cigarettes, little stuffed animals, plastic fruits and vegetables, and a range of bejeweled and decorative objects. Many of the wealthy women of Chicago and the Midwest were among Green-Field's clients, and his hats were popular with celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland. More than 60 of these hats, many of them never before exhibited, will be on view as part of the exhibition.