Bes-Ben: The Mad Hatter of Chicago

Bes-Ben: The Mad Hatter of Chicago
Museum Hours

Known for his elaborate, humorous, and flamboyant creations, Benjamin B. Green-Field (1898-1988), the creative genius behind the Bes-Ben label, designed hats using a variety of everyday objects and a wide array of unusual trimmings. The hats were adorned with bizarre items such as fake cigarettes, little stuffed animals, plastic fruits and vegetables, and a range of bejeweled and decorative objects. Many of the wealthy women of Chicago and the Midwest were among Green-Field's clients, and his hats were popular with celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland. More than 60 of these hats, many of them never before exhibited, will be on view as part of the exhibition. 

April 20, 2018 - January 6, 2019
Indianapolis Museum of Art Galleries
Included with Admission
April 22–January 6

Bes-Ben: The Mad Hatter of Chicago Tour

Indianapolis Museum of Art Galleries Sundays and alternate Thursdays at 3 pm

Explore the mind(s) behind the madness of Chicago’s “Mad Hatter.”

Bes-Ben (American, 1898–1988), hat (bullfighters), 1950s, cotton, wool, silk, synthetic fibers, animal hide, metal, wood, plastic, 8-1/4 × 9 in. Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Gift of the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, 2008.14 © Bes-Ben.