Dr. Seuss 'Hats Off' Exhibition Makes Beverly Hills Stop on North American Tour

By: Apr. 08, 2015
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Few authors are better known than Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, yet, to this day, his Secret Art and his fantastical Hat Collection are virtually unknown to the general public. Throughout his lifetime, Ted Geisel created paintings and collected hats which he secreted away in a hidden closet at the Dr. Seuss Estate. This is the first time ever that Dr. Seuss's hats have ever traveled outside his home.

In honor of the 75th anniversary of Dr. Seuss's second book, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, a special Hats Off to Dr. Seuss! Exhibition has been mounted that combines these two secret collections. Audrey S. Geisel, the widow of Dr. Seuss, has generously opened up the Estate's legendary "hat closet" to allow the public a peek at Dr. Seuss's hat collection. These hats, along with the Secret Art, will travel the country and visit select venues throughout the next year.

The Hats Off to Dr. Seuss! Beverly Hills exhibition will feature Dr. Seuss's never-before-seen hat collection alongside his little-known Secret Art, a series of Estate authorized works adapted and reproduced from Ted Geisel's original drawings, paintings, and sculpture. This historic collection has opened the world's eyes to the extraordinary artistic talent of Dr. Seuss and will be available for viewing and purchase through the run of the exhibition.

In his artwork, as in his personal life, Dr. Seuss saw hats as transformational. And from the time he was a small boy in Springfield, Massachusetts, he was aware of their inherent magic. Far beyond their functionality, hats were the accent-the exclamation point-on a person's behavior. They could entertain, delight and embellish, even tease and taunt, but most of all, hats helped Dr. Seuss deliver a world of life-changing inspiration.

The first recorded mention of Dr. Seuss's hat collection came from his sister, Marnie, who visited Ted in New York in the autumn of 1937. She reported in the Springfield Union-News, November 28, 1937, "Ted has another peculiar hobby-that of collecting hats of every description. Why, he must have several hundred and he is using them as the foundation of his next book. I have seen him put on an impromptu show for guests, using the hats as costumes. He has kept a whole party in stitches just by making up a play with kitchen knives and spoons for the actors."

That "next book"-Dr. Seuss's second of 44-became The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.

The Hats Off to Dr. Seuss! Exhibition delivers a unique opportunity to view Dr. Seuss's superb hat collection and view their direct impact on his works of art. Traveling in a specially retrofitted old fashioned steamer trunk, this exhibition premiered at the New York Public Library, and was the first of a handful of stops across the country. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a selection of hats from Dr. Seuss's private collection.

Celebrity signed artwork to travel with Hats Off to Dr. Seuss! Touring Exhibition coming to Beverly Hills, California.

Also arriving with this exhibition are signed Green Eggs and Ham: Would You? Could You? In a Car serigraph prints featuring the signature of famed celebrity racecar driver, Jeff Gordon, whose foundation - the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation - is dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric cancer. Mr. Gordon's foundation funds programs that improve patients' quality of life, treatments that increase survivorship, and medical research to find a cure.

The Hats Off to Hope! Campaign is a collaboration between Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Chase Art Companies, Random House Children's Books and the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, to bring hope, comfort and support to thousands of children currently battling cancer in the United States.Each purchase of a Jeff Gordon signed Would You? Could You?In a Carprint will help Chase Art Companies to support Hats Off to Hope!

Exhibition Period: April 25th, 2015 through May 10th, 2015

Special Public Event: Saturday, April 25th, 2015 12 pm - 6 pm

Meet the Art of Dr. Seuss Collection Curator, Bill Dreyer, on Saturday, April 25th, from 6-9 pm


Admission is Complimentary

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins - The Cubbins Connection

When Ted Geisel was twelve (1916), his silent movie hero was Douglas Fairbanks Sr., who made a dozen films that year. Fairbanks' strong suit was playing hatted heroes in epic costume dramas. He starred as Don Juan, The Thief of Baghdad, The Black Pirate, Zorro, D'Artagnan, Petruchio, The Gaucho, and in 1922-Robin Hood. Even as an adult, Fairbanks remained Ted's favorite actor.

When you look at Bartholomew Cubbins and read his story, it's impossible not to conjure up images of Robin Hood and his famous hat with its pointed feather. The Oscar nominated Technicolor film, The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn, opened on May 14, 1938; The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins hit the bookstores that fall. It's serendipitous that these two classics came out the same year-the movie still shown today, the book still read.

"In the beginning, Bartholomew Cubbins didn't have five hundred hats. He had only one hat." Thus begins Dr. Seuss's fable about the little boy in the Robin Hood "red" hat with "the feather that always pointed straight up," and the improbable impossibility of doffing it in deference to his king. Again and again the removal of Bartholomew's hat would only reveal another right there in its place on the top of his head. The story becomes a "thriller" as King Derwin descends into rage, threatening a perplexed Bartholomew's very existence. The happy resolution is completely Seussian, "But neither Bartholomew Cubbins, nor King Derwin himself, nor anyone else in the Kingdom of Didd could ever explain how the strange thing had happened. They only could say it just 'happened to happen' and was not very likely to happen again."

About The Art of Dr. Seuss

For over 60 years, Dr. Seuss's illustrations have brought visual realization to his fantastic and imaginary worlds. However, his artistic talent went far beyond the printed page to his collection of Secret Art. Dr. Seuss always dreamed of sharing these works with his fans and had entrusted his wife, Audrey, to carry out his wishes once he was gone. In 1997, this dream was realized when The Art of Dr. Seuss project was launched. For the first time, collectors were able to see and acquire lithographs, serigraphs, and sculptures reproduced from Geisel's original drawings and paintings. This historic project has opened the world's eyes to the unique artistic talent of Dr. Seuss and, as such, galleries, museums, and collectors have helped make Audrey S. Geisel's promise, and Dr. Seuss's dream, a reality. To view the collection or find a gallery where you can see and acquire artworks, visit http://www.drseussart.com

About the Artist: Theodor Seuss Geisel (American, 1904-1991)

Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, began his career as a little known editorial cartoonist in the 1920s. His intriguing perspective and fresh concepts ignited his career, and his work evolved quickly to deft illustrations, modeled sculpture, and sophisticated oil paintings of elaborate imagination.

Dr. Seuss is currently best known as one of the most beloved and bestselling children's authors of all time, having written and illustrated classics such as The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas! Geisel was also a political cartoonist for PM magazine during World War II, as well as a contributing illustrator for Vanity Fair and Life. He had a long, successful advertising career, and was an Academy Award winner for his wartime documentaries, as well as his animated short film, Gerald McBoing Boing. Today his paintings hang in fine art galleries alongside old and contemporary masters including Picasso, Warhol, Rembrandt, Miró, and others.

His unique artistic vision emerged as the golden thread which linked every facet of his varied career, and his artwork became the platform from which he delivered 44 children's books, over 400 World War II political cartoons, hundreds of advertisements, and countless editorials filled with wonderfully inventive animals, characters, and clever humor. Geisel single-handedly forged a new genre of art that falls somewhere between the Surrealist Movement of the early 20th century and the inspired nonsense of a child's classroom doodles.

To celebrate Dr. Seuss's legacy, a dynamic new sculpture project was announced on the eve of The Cat in the Hat's 50th birthday. The project includes a series of maquette and large-scale sculptures commissioned for this milestone and as an ongoing tribute to Dr. Seuss. Artist Leo Rijn was selected to be the inaugural sculptor for this project due to his prized work with some of today's top talent in the world of film, entertainment and the visual arts.

Key Links



New York Times Article:


Hats Off to Dr. Seuss Exhibition site: http://www.drseussart.com/hatsoff/

All Images:

& © 2014 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All Rights Reserved


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