Scotland's Year of Stories Project: Arctic Ventures: Forgotten Stories of Scottish Whaling

In September 2022, The Scottish Fisheries Museum unvield new version of their Scottish Whaling Gallery, enriched with a bespoke installation of textile art, inviting visitors to make a deeper and more imaginative connection with the subject matter. The main narrative of the exhibition aligned Anstruther and the museum’s building itself with the background of the wider story of Scottish Whaling, drawing out untold stories of the Northern Whale Fisheries from smaller Scottish ports including Anstruther’s own eighteenth century Whaling company.

The main new content to feature as part of the permanent display is the work of renowned whaling artist, printmaker and handmade book-maker, Caroline Hack. Caroline’s interest in the history of British Arctic whaling has taken her around the world, visiting whaling related sites, museums and collections to gather source material. For The Scottish Fisheries Museum, Caroline helped bring aspects of the Scottish Whaling story to life through her textile art and handmade books, echoing the crafts and logs undertaken on long whaling voyages in the past. A mix of large and small pieces – for example, wall hangings of maps and precious things in the display cabinets – helped to fill the ‘story’ gaps in the museum’s collection.

In addition, folk musicians Pete Shepheard and Arthur Watson gave an afternoon performance of traditional whaling songs at the museum.

This event was supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund was delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players.

Traditional Whaling Songs performed by folk musicians Pete Shepheard and Arthur Watson.jpg

Traditional Whaling Songs were performed by folk musicians Pete Shepheard and Arthur Watson

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