Traditional Dutch Ganseys : Events Weekend

Mon 12 Feb 18

The weekend of 24th/25th February 2018 will provide a final opportunity to see this exhibition of Dutch ganseys at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther (before they are packed off on their further adventures across the Atlantic to Alaska) with the exciting addition of events featuring their maker, Stella Ruhe, all the way from Amsterdam.

On Saturday 24th February between 1.30pm and 3.30 pm, join us as we welcome textile expert Stella Ruhe for exclusive insight into her fascinating research on traditional fishermen’s knitted sweaters from the coasts and rivers of the Netherlands and see the recreations of these old patterns in modern yarn.

Then, on Sunday 25th February between 1.30pm and 2.30pm, Meet the Artist (& last chance to see the exhibition)

2.30 - 3.30pm Artist’s Talk in our Education Centre

3.30 – 4.30pm Informal Q & A with Stella Ruhe


The Exhibition – Background and Content

Over the winter, the Scottish Fisheries Museum has had the unique privilege of being one of only two UK venues (the other bring Sheringham Museum in Norfolk where it attracted a great number of awe-struck visitors) to host the European tour of Dutch textile expert, Stella Ruhe’s exquisitely recreated traditional fishermen’s sweaters or Visserstruien

Although we are only displaying 40 of the 60 ganseys from the original exhibition (which has toured extensively to critical acclaim) you will get an impression of the diversity and complexity of the patterns and the skill required to produce these garments. 

Stella travelled around the coastal villages of the Netherlands identifying multiple, distinct patterns incorporated into Dutch fishermen’s jumpers then recreated 60 of them using modern yarn and the traditional knitting methods.   The resulting exhibition, illustrated with archive photography showing Dutch fishermen wearing the original designs, makes for a compelling insight into this cultural folk phenomenon and female craft heritage which spans not only the entire coastline of the British Isles but also, as only relatively recently discovered, down the North Sea Coast of the Netherlands.  

The Scottish Fisheries Museum has its own collection of ganseys which, along with the rest of the costume and indeed entire collection, has been Recognised as a nationally significant collection by the Scottish Government.  

The ganseys on show are featured in Stella’s recently published second book on the subject More Traditional Dutch Ganseys.  The exhibition will travel to Cordova, Alaska in 2018.

It has been possible to bring the exhibition and events weekend to Anstruther thanks to financial support from Fife Council’s Common Good Fund.


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