National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of "Poke" Bonnet
Rendered by Irene Lawson (artist), c. 1935/1942
watercolor and graphite on paperboard
overall: 57.9 x 44.6 cm (22 13/16 x 17 9/16 in.)
Index of American Design
1943.8.2835
Not on View
From the Tour: Costumes from the Index of American Design
Object 12 of 26

This is called a "Poke" bonnet. The word "poke" refers to the fact that there is room at the back for the hair to be poked up inside the bonnet so that the hairdo was completely covered.

Dated from the 1840s, the bonnet is Victorian in style. The Victorian Age corresponds to the reign of England's Queen Victoria. Victorianism, in general, fostered certain attitudes about respectability, particularly with regard to the behavior of women. This bonnet, fitting down over the sides of the face, was intended to shield the wearer from the gaze of strangers.

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