The beard in history.

The best things in life have beards. The kids and I decided to learn more about beards today because it seems like all the settlers and pioneers we’ve been studying wore beards. In fact, history vibrates with the echo of fantastic beards and chops on the faces of seminal figures, including religious leaders.

Max often explains to people who mistake him for a girl that he likes having long hair because all his heroes have long hair. When pressed, he mentions Mozart, Jesus, and Led Zeppelin. This brings to mind the fact that long hair for men is not de rigeur these days- and those boys or men who choose to cultivate it are put on the defensive for their choice. Apparently, history is the record of how girls have long hair and boys have short hair- at least, that’s the consensus among the chatty types in Tuscaloosa.

So we’re studying beards in history- beards as costume, status signifier, artifact, relic, and so on. If one of the best people in your life boasts some hair on their chin or cheeks, consider adding him (or her) to the National Beard Registry. Or just drop by and get inspired (as we did) by illustrious beards, including those from the Lake Eden Arts Festival.

More beard appreciation in alphabetical order:

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the USA
Antonin Dvorak, Bohemian composer
Auguste Rodin, French sculptor
Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the USA
Charles Darwin, English naturalist
Charles Dickens, British novelist, journalist, and author
Charlie Daniels, American guitarist, fiddler, and singer-songwriter
Confucius, Chinese teeacher. politician, and philosopher
D. H. Lawrence, British novelist, poet, and playwright
Dan Duggan, American hammered dulcimer performer
Devendra Barnhart, Venezuelan-American singer-songwriter and visual artist
Erik Satie, French composer and pianist
Frank Zappa, American musician, composer, and recording engineer
Frederick Douglass, American author, social reformer, and statesman
Friedrich Engels, German social scientist and political theorist
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Russian novelist and essayist
Galileo Galilei, Italian physicist, mathematician, and astronomer
Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian general and politician
Giuseppe Verdi, Italian Romantic composer
Gustav Klimt, Viennese artist and Secessionist
Jesus of Nazareth, Judeic prophet, Muslim prophet Christian Messiah
John Brown, American abolitionist and insurrectionist
John Wells, master of The Field Lab
Karl Marx, Prussian-German sociologist, economist, historian, and philosopher
King Henry VIII, British royalty and ruler
Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist
Maurice Sendak, illustrator and author of children’s books
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French artist and Impressionist
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer and conductor
Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th president of the USA
Saul Kripke, American philosopher and logician
Sir Walter Raleigh, English aristocrat, poet, and explorer
Thelonius Monk, jazz pianist and composer
Vincent Van Gogh, Dutch post-Impressionist painter
Walt Whitman, American poet and saunterer
William Shakespeare, English dramaturge, poet, and playwright
William James, American physician, psychologist, and philosopher
ZZ Top and the million dollar beards

Meanwhile, the munchkins are drawing beards on various coloring page characters. I have a feeling that several dolls and stuffed animals will not make it through the evening without aquiring a beard…..

Beard Doodles (PDF)

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