A bold and colorful showcase of traditional and contemporary African-American culture is now on display at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport with the debut of the “Crowning Glory” exhibit. The display by the Griot Museum of Black History of St. Louis features the evolution and trends of African-American head-coverings.  

The Airport and the Griot Museum will host an opening reception for the exhibit on Wednesday, February 20, 5:30-6:30 p.m. The exhibit is located at the Meeting Place Gallery in Terminal 1 Bag Claim.

The exhibit explores four main themes with more than 50 hats and head-coverings and other artifacts from The Griot's collections and private citizens. One case focuses on traditional African head coverings, including ceremonial masks to traditional Zulu headwear worn by married women, called Isicholos. A major focus of the exhibit, “Evolution of the Church Hat,” shows a wonderful display of women’s hats typically worn just for Sunday services. The hats range in styles from a subdued black straw hat from the 1920s to larger, more elaborate and attention-getting headwear, like a bright green feather hat. The exhibit also details the amazing Millinery history in St. Louis in a showcase called “Hats in the Lou.” The Levine Hat Company, which manufactured and sold popular men’s hats like the Knox and the "Zoot Suite" hat, is also prominently featured. The company had deep connections to the St. Louis African-American community since it opened for business in 1903.

The Griot Museum of Black history opened in 1997 with a mission to create a community of life-long learners who explore, discover, experience and embrace the region’s rich and enduring African-American heritage. “Crowning Glory” is curated by Lois D. Conley, Founding Executive Director and James A. Vincent, historian.

The “Crowning Glory” exhibit is accessible to all Airport visitors. The exhibit is sponsored by Lambert-St. Louis International Airport with support from the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission. The exhibit runs through May, 2013.