Linking Us Fondly: Hairwork in 19th Century America

January 14, Thursday, 7 p.m.

View the recording of this event here.

Helen Sheumaker, Ph.D., author of Love Entwined: The Curious History of Hairwork in America, speaks in connection with the exhibit Rachel Portesi: Hair Portraits.

In nineteenth-century America, locks of hair were often woven into mementos and jewelry. Sheumaker’s Love Entwined is the first book-length examination of the practice, which was one of the inspirations for Portesi‚Äôs tintype photographs of women with their hair pinned to walls and other surfaces in elaborate designs.

Helen Sheumaker is an associate teaching professor in History and Global and Intercultural Studies at Miami University, where she teaches courses in public history, American Studies, and history and memory. She is co-editor of American Material Culture: An Encyclopedia. Her 2018 book Artifacts from Modern America reveals the histories of fifty objects of twentieth-century America, from voting machines to the Fordson tractor, from homemade “hippie” blue jeans to the TRS-80 personal computer.