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From fashion to field- its twentieth-century story. Pervasive and fashionable throughout westward expansion in the United States- the sunbonnet endures as work dress in some regions and as icon just about everywhere - on quilts- dolls- and childrens clothing. In 2003- Rebecca Matheson began to ask why. Unlike the scant previously published work- this first book-length study focuses on the twentieth century and why this particular working-dress accessory persisted long after it passed out of nineteenth-century fashion. Surveying its previous history- Matheson pursues what the sunbonnet reveals about twentieth-century American fashion- culture- and ideals- as well as class- and race-related issues. Detailing materials and methods of sunbonnet construction and care- she also addresses differences in sunbonnet design. Enlivening the studys fresh approach are oral histories and arresting primary source images- such as photographs by Dorothea Lange and sunbonnets from American collections private and public- including the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art- the Texas Fashion Collection- and the Museum of Texas Tech University. Literary context - fiction and nonfiction - also enriches the text. A resource for historians and other scholars in dress- American and womens studies- and popular and material culture- The Sunbonnet should also enjoy wide appeal among collectors- reenactors- and anyone drawn to this American icon....
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