Tour: Social Isolation Haircuts

With social distancing, we can’t get to our stylists and barbers. This tour of the collection offers some suggestions for haircuts. You’ll have to decide for yourself if you want to try these styles or not. Take scissors to your coiffe at your own risk.

Rainy Day, Honoré Guilbeau, (Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1907–2006, Peninsula, Ohio), Lithograph on paper, 8 3/4 in. x 11 3/4 in. (22.23 cm x 29.85 cm), Gift of Mrs. Stanley Okey, 1974.62

A blunt bob, slicked back, so people don’t notice you can’t cut straight, like in Honoré Guilbeau’s lithograph. In this print, the woman’s dismay is apparent; perhaps as the title suggests, the rainy day foiled her plans. The artist, northeast Ohio native Honoré Guilbeau, was a dancer and costume designer early in her career before working as part of the Work Project Administration. She went on to teach at the Akron Art Institute in the 1940s before becoming a nationally recognized book illustrator.

Eleanor, Chicago, Harry Callahan, (Detroit, Michigan, 1912–1999, Atlanta, Georgia), Gelatin silver print, 9 3/8 in. x 8 15/16 in. (23.81 cm x 22.7 cm), Gift of Harry and Eleanor Callahan, 1991.44

Long, luscious, and wild might be the easiest solution, as in Eleanor Callahan’s locks. Photographer Harry Callahan developed a body of images of his beloved wife, Eleanor. The images were at once fine art and an intimate portrait of a marriage.

Bridesmaid’s Hairdo, Navalcan, Spain, Inge Morath, (Graz, Austria, 1923–2002, New York, NY), Gelatin silver print, 8 7/8 in. x 13 in. (22.54 cm x 33.02 cm), Gift of the artist, 1998.5

With more time on your hands, this might be the chance to try a vintage style, like setting in waves, particularly if you have a willing partner at home to help you get it just right. You don’t even need a special event, like the Spanish wedding this bridesmaid would be attending, to take time to make the extra effort. This particular photograph from 1955 was created by Inge Morath, studio assistant to renowned photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson.

The Hoover Company, North Canton, Lee Friedlander, Gelatin silver print, 11 in. x 14 in. (27.94 cm x 35.56 cm), Purchased with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and Central Bank of Akron, 1981.11.73

Or, you could go all out and set your hair in a full bouffant. This photograph by Lee Friedlander shows a worker in North Canton toiling in the Hoover factory. Her commitment to style is enviable. The museum’s collection also includes many more photographs by American artist Lee Friedlander taking in the Northeast Ohio region.

Kopf (Head), Andre Rouveyre, (Paris, 1879–1962), Woodcut on paper, 10 1/4 in. x 13 1/2 in. (26.04 cm x 34.29 cm), Gift of Mr. Paul F. Binai, 1967.13

Another option is to get out scissors and snip, snip, snip. You could find yourself with a fashionable, stylish coiffure, particularly given you might have time to get out your straight iron. This woodblock is 100 years old, but the look could work today.

Untitled, Shields Landon Jones, (Indian Mills, Virginia, 1901–1997, Hinton, West Virginia), Ballpoint pen, graphite and crayon on paper, 9 1/2 in. x 7 3/4 in. (24.13 cm x 19.69 cm), Museum Acquisition Fund, 2009.1

But, be warned, cutting bangs can go awry. This untitled drawing offers you a useful cautionary tale for when you get a little too excited about cutting your bangs.

Untitled, Vivian Maier, (New York, New York, 1926–2009, Chicago, Illinois), Gelatin silver print, 12 in. x 12 in. (30.48 cm x 30.48 cm), Gift of Russell and Barbara Bowman in honor of Mitchell D. Kahan, 2012.39

Then, there is always the easiest option. Just wear a hat, like the lady in Vivian Maier’s photograph. Maier was a prolific photographer with more than 100,000 negatives produced in her five-decade career, creating scenes of life and people in and around Chicago.

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