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Pussy Power Hat knitted by Jayna Zweiman on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

V&A Adds Pussyhat from Women’s March on Washington to Its Rapid Response Collection

London’s Victoria and Albert Museum announced today that it has acquired a pussyhat that was worn at the Women’s March in Washington, DC, on January 21, the day after the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump. Knitted by Jayna Zweiman, the Los Angeles–based cofounder of the Pussyhat Project, the pink hat is now on display in the museum’s Rapid Response Collection Gallery, which addresses current events that have impacted design, art, architecture, and technology.

Zweiman and collaborator Krista Suh launched the Pussyhat Project in Los Angeles shortly after Trump was elected as the forty-fifth president of the United States. They partnered with Kat Coyle, the owner of Little Knittery, to create a pattern to post online so that people could create their own for the march. The cat-ear design was partially inspired by Trump’s comment to Billy Bush, who was then with Access Hollywood, that you can do anything to women if you’re famous, even “grab them by the pussy.”

Corinna Gardner, acting keeper of the V&A’s Design Architecture and Digital department, said, “The items we collect are evidence of social, political, and economic change, and as a group they form a permanent legacy of objects that help visitors and researchers make sense of the world we live in today. This modest pink hat is a material thing that through its design enables us to raise questions about our current political and social circumstance.”

On artforum.com, Johanna Fateman wrote about the phenomenon of the pussyhat, which she described as a “relentless, effortlessly taunting, [and] indisputably made-in-America riposte,” and the stunning visual of women wearing them at the march.

Other recent V&A Rapid Response Collecting acquisitions include a burkini, a flag designed for the first-ever refugee team to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games, and a “Vote Leave” campaign leaflet distributed in the days leading up to the UK’s referendum on its European Union membership.

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