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Work, such as a keepsake, made from hair; usually from human hair but occasionally also from the hair of a beloved pet. The hair is often braided and arranged in decorative patterns, entwined over wire forms, etc. While hair is the primary medium of such work, seed pearls, glass beads, ribbons, dried flowers, and other materials may be included. Hairworks are often memorials, typically worn or displayed as a mourning ornament in memory of the donor of the hair. However, they may also be made from the hair of living individuals, such as the members of a family or of a church congregation. Hairwork was popular during the Victorian era.
Definition source(s)
  • Millager, Abby. Hairwork. Hockessin, DE: Doll’s Eye Press, 2010.
  • Oxford University Press. “Oxford English Dictionary Online.” Accessed January 10, 2001.
  • Sheumaker, Helen. Love Entwined: The Curious History of Hairwork in America. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.
  • The J. Paul Getty Trust, and Getty Research Institute. “Art & Architecture Thesaurus Online.” Accessed January 12, 2022.
Term (International)
Alternative term(s)
hair picture; picture, hair
Term (International)
Ouvrage en cheveux
Term gender (International)
Alternative term(s)
tableau en cheveux
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Date updated
Parks Canada code(s)
  • 08-00056
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Art & Architecture Thesaurus
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