8th April 11, 05:12 PM
Introducing the Ellis Island Tartan
I have referred to this tartan in my picture thread about Ellis Island, but I wanted to devote a thread in the Tartan section specifically to this, as well.
Those of you who receive emails from the National Tartan Registry will have noted that the only new tartan to be added to the register on April 6, National Tartan Day, was the Ellis Island tartan.
Click here to view the register.
Here is the image from the register.
I was commissioned to design a tartan for Ellis Island by Robert Currie, president of the Clan Currie Society. Mr. Currie lives in NJ, very close to Ellis Island, and for the past ten years his clan society has put on a special exhibit for Tartan Day at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. See www.tartandayonellisisland.com for information about all the past exhibitions they have put on.
As this year was the tenth annual Tartan Day celebration on Ellis, the idea was to create a special Ellis Island tartan to commemorate the anniversary. Appropriately enough, the special exhibit this year was on tartan itself, and previewed the new official Ellis Island tartan.
Robert Currie also serves on the board of the Save Ellis Island foundation. Visitors to Ellis Island only see a small handful of the buildings on the island which are restored and open to the public. The majority of the buildings (29) are off limits. These buildings have been abandoned for over 50 years and are in desperate need of restoration. The goal of the Save Ellis Island Foundation is to raise money towards the preservation and restoration of the remaining buildings on Ellis Island so that they can be accessible to the public and used for museum space, libraries, interpretive centers, and so forth. This is an amazing part of our nation's heritage that is literally falling apart.
With that in mind, part of the goal of the Ellis Island tartan is to raise money for the Save Ellis Island Foundation.
When I was on Ellis, I was able to take a "behind the scenes" tour of the closed off parts of the island. Here is what the Foundation is trying to save.
The last picture above is of a light fixture (bulb still inside) with 50 plus years of salt deposit built up, just from the ocean air. You can imagine the havoc that wrecks upon the buildings.
So we really hope that interest in this tartan can do some real good on Ellis.
Now, though, for the tartan itself!
Here is Bob Currie and I previewing the tartan on Ellis Island during the weekend of April 1-3.
The tartan was also showcased on the runway during Dressed to Kilt on April 5. Sara Gore, NY tv host, wore a couture dress designed by Michael Kaye.
Of course the tartan was officially entered into the books of the National Register on April 6, the same day that Bob Currie spoke in Washington DC at the National Tartan Day symposium, wearing proudly the new Ellis Island tartan.
Over 12 million people immigrated through Ellis Island to come to America's shores. Half a million of those were from Scotland, but this tartan is intended for any of those immigrants or their descendants. It is estimated that 40% of Americans today can claim descent from at least one ancestor who came through Ellis. This is their tartan.
We have already began to receive requests at the museum to purchase the tartan. Currently the Clan Currie Society, who holds the copyright, is working to establish a supplier who can produce and sell the tartan and make sure that the royalties go to the Save Ellis Island Foundation. It is hoped that the Ellis Island tartan would then be made widely available to tartan retailers, including our museum gift shop.
As the designer of the tartan I do have an agreement with Clan Currie which allows me to make and sell a limited number of kilts per year in this tartan.
I'll be sure to announce here when other items in the tartan are available. You can also register to be notified through the Tartan Day on Ellis Island web site.
For more information on the Ellis Island tartan, see this article.
8th April 11, 05:28 PM
Mighty fine looking tartan Matt and I like the colour combination. Congratulations to you on the design and I hope sales go well to help restore what is obviously a significant piece of American history
Shoot straight you bastards. Don't make a mess of it. Harry (Breaker) Harbord Morant - Bushveldt Carbineers
8th April 11, 05:33 PM
I don't know that any of my people went through Ellis Island, but that is a really nice tartan. I hope it is wildly successful in helping preserve this American institution.
When given a choice, most people will choose.
8th April 11, 09:06 PM
Congratulations Matt on another beautiful tartan you designed. Bob Currie looks mighty fine in his Ellis Island tartan kilt with the Capital in the background.
Charter member of Clan Claus Society, Clan Wallace Society
C.W. Howard Santa School Alumni
Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas
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