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The Winter Art Show

June 2024
1min read

Until well into this century no woman would venture into public without a hat, and buying a new one was one of the ritual pleasures of spring. In this canvas, painted about 1905 by Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones, shoppers crowd the counters at Wanamaker’s in Philadelphia. Some thirty years earlier, when John Wanamaker opened his huge Grand Depot at Thirteenth and Market streets, one editorial writer expressed the view that he was walking “on the thin crust of a volcano which threatens to blow him and his wigwam sky-high, scattering hats and haberdashery … to the four winds.” In fact, the retailer was so successful that in 1911 he built a twelve-story skyscraper on the same site, and the firm continues in business there today.

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