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Specimens of Hair: The Curious Collection of Peter A. Browne

Through February 18, 2019

specimens of hair

Americans have been curious about presidential hair since long before the combover became a thing. In a rare exhibit of a unique collection that once belonged to amateur naturalist Peter A. Browne (1782–1860), the Academy created an intimate display of five 19th-century albums containing samples of human and animal hair, including locks from among the first 14 U.S. presidents. Every three weeks, staff will lift the glass from the two cases and turn the pages of the albums to a different page so that one presidential lock will be displayed at a time. The hair samples that will be shown will be announced on the Academy’s social media channels. Visitors can watch the pages being rotated and chat with the Academy’s archivist.