JESSICA PETTWAY PHOTOGRAPHS FAMED CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST ETHEL PAYNE'S HAT FOR SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE
Smithsonian magazine commissioned Jessica to photograph the hat of Ethel Payne, pioneering journalist and Civil Rights activist who was known as “the First Lady of the Black Press.”
Here’s an excerpt from the story:
“Payne, who died in 1991, was also known for her fashionable hats, a look she had adored since she was a young woman. ‘Fancy hats, sometimes known as ‘crowns,’ continue to hold special significance as an African American cultural tradition,’ notes Jennifer Sieck, a collections researcher who oversees the Payne archive. ‘One must be secure in one’s self-worth to don the opposite of an ‘invisibility cloak.’ Payne would have acquired this one around 1960. Made of silk and adorned with glass grapes and violets and roses in velveteen and paper, the extravagant hat is quite heavy, something only a woman with nerve would wear."
Read more here.