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Sliding into CAM’s past

by Sara Birkofer


Mary R. Schiff Library and Archives , library , archives , museum history , Geoff Edwards

  In the 1930s and ‘40s, there was a motion picture program at CAM.  Before each feature presentation a glass slide was projected onto the screen.  Hundreds of these fragile hand painted slides were recently scanned by our archivist Geoffrey Edwards.







Most of the slides depict advertisements, or scenes from the Art Museum. However we found the slide below peculiar.  We asked Chief Curator Cindy Amneus to give us some insight about this slide’s strange demand.  Here’s what she had to say:

“In the 1930s it was socially inappropriate for a woman to venture out of the house without a fashionable hat on her head. A variety of styles were worn in this period both large and small; some with elaborate trims. This image asks women to be considerate of those sitting behind them whose view would have been obstructed by their hat. In previous decades, this was a request made in the theater. In the 1930s, the same issue arose in movie theaters causing some friction as women felt ‘undressed’ without their hat on their head.”  

Thanks for the insight, Cindy!  Check out the Mary R. Schiff Library and archives  for more interesting finds! Open Tuesday – Friday, 11:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m; 2nd Saturday of every month, September – June.