By Susan Downs Reed
Master’s Thesis, University of Maryland, 1992
Introduction: The period from 1400 to 1519 marked a transition point between the medieval world and the modern world. Despite the differences in Northern and Southern European art, it was an internally consistent period in art history. For material culture studies, it was rich for the study of the changes from a pre-industrial society to an industrial society, the development of capitalism, and the development of more materialistic attitudes. It is a basic assumption of material culture studies that the larger culture is reflected by the material objects produced and owned by that culture. One such set of material objects, men’s headdress from 1400 to 1519, is the focus of this research. Studies of late medieval and early Renaissance clothing have not been abundant. There are many restrictions with the quantity and quality of sources of information that hamper study of clothing and other aspects of material life during this time. This thesis will use a quantitative approach that has worked well in studies of headdress and other clothing articles for other time periods to help overcome some of the limitations that sources present to the researcher.