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The Masked Hatter
Pandemic Style on the Upper West Side
By Elizabeth Sobieski

In NYC, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Elizabeth Sobieski transforms her time in isolation into a triumphant expression of style, grace, and play while promoting the fashionable use of masks to save lives. 

The Masked Hatter images have been included in exhibitions at the International Center of Photography,  the University of Massachusetts’s Hampden Gallery, curated by Sally Curcio, and on the online platform, Fotodemic: Reflections on a Changing Time, curated by Svetlana Bachevenova. 


“What really really just lifted me up was this Masked Hatter.”

           -The Mark and Myra Show,   Myra Sheer, Sirius XM Radio

"One Upper West Sider has turned the art of masking up into just that: a genuinely artistic enterprise."

          -The West Side Rag, Amelia Roth-Dishy

“The Masked Hatter inspires and promotes masks.” 

          -PIX11 News, Allison Kade

"Creativity taken to the max! Congratulation and thanks for bringing a smile to an aching heart.  God bless."

"So brilliantly innovative and fun at a time when we all need a chuckle. Thank you Elizabeth Sobieski"


"Count on a New Yorker to turn a miserable, frightening year into a creative sartorial display."


"You brightened up my day. For a few moments I was able to forget about the gravity of this whole situation. And you look fabulous!" 

"You’re a woman after my own heart- a hat collector as well, with a few fancy masks too!"

Author: Elizabeth Sobieski

When I finally emerged from nearly two months of complete isolation in May of 2020, I felt anonymous, hidden behind various face coverings and glasses, and shielded by elaborate hats from my collection.  I was intrigued by my own invisibility.  I decided to bedeck and photograph this mysterious person, this alter ego, this perhaps not-so-secret identity.  I soon became The Masked Hatter of The Upper West Side, encouraging others to “Wear a mask!”


Along with her not-so-secret identity as The Masked Hatter of Instagram, Elizabeth Sobieski is a freelance writer focusing on the arts. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania before embarking on a career writing for such publications as New York, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and Avenue. She was a Contributing Editor for The Art Economist Magazine and currently writes articles about contemporary art for The Huffington Post, Medium, and White Hot Magazine, as well as providing catalogue essays for artists who are not The Masked Hatter .

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