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WCSU Art Professor Honors Danbury's Past With ‘Hat-Maker’ Sculpture

David Boyajian with his sculpture, 'Dancing Sunflower II.' Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
The Hatters Sculpture in Danbury was created by David Boyajian. Photo Credit: Contributed

DANBURY, Conn. — In the early 1900s, nearly a quarter of the hats sold in the United States were made in Danbury. The local hatting industry started in the city more than 100 years before that, and Danbury is still known today as “Hat City.”

As a tribute to the city’s history, David Boyajian, an adjunct professor of art at Western Connecticut State University and a New Fairfield resident, was commissioned to sculpt the ‘hat maker,’ a 14-foot bronze and steel sculpture that now sits outside City Hall at 133 Deer Hill Ave.

“Mr. Boyajian’s sculpture is a reflection of our community’s hatting history,” said Brigid Guertin, executive director and city historian at Danbury Museum & Historical Society. “He has done a lovely job of presenting a hatter at work, using diverse materials, and in a manner that invites further discovery by the viewer. This wonderful piece is an open, flowing design that presents viewers with an opportunity to glance at the past or walk right up to it.”

Boyajian, who teaches drawing and design, earned his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Maryland Institute. He has completed dozens of monumental commissioned work and works primarily in steel.

His “Harvest Gate” was commissioned in 1994 by the Hunger Task Force of Leadership Greater Hartford to raise funds and awareness for hunger and is an entrance to the Main Street Farmers Market in Hartford’s downtown.

Sponsors for the Danbury sculpture are The Hatting Monument Committee, Union Savings Bank, City of Danbury, and Friends of the Danbury Museum & Historical Society.

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