Some Fine Hats

A post for the Pink Palace about some of the hats in our textile collection.

The Pink Palace

When it comes to fashion, hats have the practical function of keeping one’s head warm. However, hats are also symbols of identity that can tell us about the owner’s social class, occupation and personal style.

Navy velvet hat

One of the Pink Palace’s most unusual hats belonged to Ms. Mary Guidi. She was a successful Memphis lawyer wh
o practiced in the city for 42 years. During her career, she won a 1949 Supreme Court-mandated retrial that was ordered on the grounds that the initial trial judge “had an aversion and prejudice to women lawyers.” She also won a case before the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1955 to require more specific language in police warrants. Guidi worked in the Falls Building downtown. One day she overheard Luther Hammons say that he could make anything out of wood so she challenged him to make her a hat. According to newspaper columnist Eldon Roark, Hammons replied, “I’m…

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