Art Cronquist's Hat

By Amy Weiss

Mar 9 2019

If you spend time looking at herbarium specimens collected by Arthur Cronquist, you might notice that many have field photographs. And in those photographs, there is often a hat.

Part traveling gnome and part hidden picture puzzle – these specimens are like looking at a vacation album full of photos of Art Cronquist’s hat and the new plant friends it made along the way. The hat often appears in collections from the 1960’s, but has been spotted as late as 1985.

Art placed the hat beside the plants to show comparative size – many collectors often include something to show scale in photographs (like a coin).  But, the joke is that he was a very big guy, thus his hat size was larger than most. When asked if the hat was the same one over the years, Pat Holmgren says Art was a creature of habit, so he probably purchased exactly the same hat when a new one was needed.