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  1. #1
    M. A. C. Newsome is offline
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    Tartan Day on Ellis Island

    The three day exhibit "Celebration of Tartan" on Ellis Island was a huge success. I'll write more about it later when I have a moment. But I did just want to post this quick picture.

    As men who wear the kilt can tell you, women are always asking to have their photo taken with you. Who can say no? :-)

    One very famous lady was very insistent that she be photographed with me yesterday, on the last day of the exhibition.


    Many more pics to follow....

  2. #2
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    You were wise not to argue with an insistent lady who is so much larger than you

    Looking forward to more pics...

    Quote Originally Posted by M. A. C. Newsome View Post
    <snip>

    One very famous lady was very insistent that she be photographed with me yesterday, on the last day of the exhibition.


    Many more pics to follow....
    - Justitia et fortitudo invincibilia sunt
    - An t'arm breac dearg

  3. #3
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    That Lady has good taste in tartans!
    --dbh

    When given a choice, most people will choose.

  4. #4
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    Yes she does even though she lives on a neighbouring island!
    Reverend Earl Trefor the Sublunary of Kesslington under Ox, Venerable Lord Trefor the Unhyphenated of Much Bottom, Sir Trefor the Corpulent of Leighton in the Bucket, Viscount Mcclef the Portable of Kirkby Overblow.

    Cymru, Yr Alban, Iwerddon, Cernyw, Ynys Manau a Lydaw am byth! Yng Nghiltiau Ynghyd!
    (Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, Isle of Man and Brittany forever - united in the Kilts!)

  5. #5
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    True, but you have to stop on hers to get to Ellis Island, so it's only polite to pay one's respects.

  6. #6
    M. A. C. Newsome is offline
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    More pics

    I finally had time to upload more of my photos from the three day exhibition on Ellis Island. For those who don't already know, the special exhibition ran from April 1-3 and was the first activity to kick off "Tartan Week" in New York. The Clan Currie Society has put together a special exhibition on Ellis Island for Tartan Day for the past ten years.

    You can learn more about it (and read about past exhibitions) on this web site:
    http://www.tartandayonellisisland.com/

    This year's exhibition was specifically on tartan, and entitled simply "A Celebration of Tartan." Bob Currie, president of the Clan Currie Society, who is also a board member of the Save Ellis Island Foundation, invited the Scottish Tartans Museum to participate in the exhibition.

    I flew into New Jersey on Wednesday night so that I could be available all day Thursday to help set up the exhibit, which was open to the public Friday through Sunday.

    First off, here are some photos of the exhibit itself.

    The exhibit included about 15 mannequins displaying a wide range of tartan clothing, from traditional Highland dress to Hollywood, children's, adults, modern couture, evening dress, military dress, etc. It featured a good range of all the possible uses of tartan, past and present.





    The large panel you see in the last photo, featuring "The Highlander" is one of eleven panels made for this exhibition. Each panel featured interpretive text on one side, describing some aspect of the story of tartan, with a full sized photo on the opposite side, generally of some famous example of someone wearing tartan.

    Here are some of the other panels, which were arranged throughout the exhibition area.



    Each panel is independent and the panel next to it does not necessarily relate to its neighbor.


    A lot of women were having their photo taken next to "Sir Sean" this weekend!


    Although a lot more people were posing for pictures next to Mel!



    There were two ways to approach the venue area. If you came in from one direction, this is what you saw.


    Whereas if you approached, as most did, from the registry room, you saw the first introductory panel to the exhibit.


    More to follow.....!

  7. #7
    M. A. C. Newsome is offline
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    So, what would it be like for the visitor to Ellis Island? You'd arrive by ferry, either from NY or NJ.


    Once you entered the main building you'd come through the baggage room, where you could see examples of the baggage immigrants would be travelling with when they arrived to Ellis.


    From there you could explore many exhibit areas within the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, but many people go immediately upstairs to the Registry Room.


    Both downstairs in the baggage room as well as upstairs in the Registry Room visitors would see signs letting them know something special was going on this weekend.


    That's when they would come into the tartan exhibition area. In addition to the exhibit and display panels shown in the previous post, the Scottish Tartans Museum sponsored an information table with name references, swatch books from two major Scottish woolen mills (Lochcarron and House of Edgar) and free handouts giving information about tartan and kilts, courtesy of the Scottish Tartans Museum.

    That's Suzanne Curry in the photo, wife of Bob Curry. Both Bob and Suzanne helped me to answer questions and give out tartan information all weekend.

    All the above photos were taken Thursday evening after we set up everything. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the place was packed with people! Ellis Island receives approximately 30,000 visitors per day this time of year, so I am told. After living through three days with this exhibit, I can believe it!

    So now let's see what the place looks like with people in it!
    Last edited by M. A. C. Newsome; 5th April 11 at 11:05 AM.

  8. #8
    M. A. C. Newsome is offline
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    A busy three days!

    People would arrive to the island by the ferry, seeing Scottish flags to announce that Tartan Day was being celebrated on the Island.


    And if the flags were not enough they were greeted by pipers and dancers.

    The Rampant Lion Pipe Band



    One of the dancers was Bonnie Greene, the kiltmaker herself!


    Even the food court was getting into the spirit with a Tartan Day lunch special!


    Of course then there is the exhibition area itself, which the musicians and dancers were there to draw them in to see!



    This exhibition was a fantastic opportunity. Normally when we set up information tables at Highland Games and Scottish festivals it is really like "preaching to the choir" in many ways. People are there generally because they have some interest in Scottish culture already. But on Ellis we got a chance to introduce a bit about the tartan tradition in Scotland to people who were absolutely unfamiliar with it. Most found it quite interesting. Plus Ellis Island sees visitors from all over the world. Not only did I talk with people from California, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, and even North Carolina, but I also met many people from Scotland, England, France, Jamaica, and even China.


    Above is Bob Currie talking with a group of tourists about tartan.


    Gillian Swan from VisitScotland was also on hand, helping out and promoting the release of the 1911 Scottish census online. Here she is talking with the Rampant Lion Pipe Band members.


    Bob Curry looking up a tartan for a young lady.
    Last edited by M. A. C. Newsome; 5th April 11 at 11:08 AM.

  9. #9
    M. A. C. Newsome is offline
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    There were also entertainers throughout the day within the exhibition area itself, which really provided some great atmosphere (and helped to draw people in).

    We had a harpist.


    We had a folk trio.


    The gentleman on the left above is Chris Lair, a very accomplished musician who entertained us greatly on the Uillian Pipes, and even played for some of the dancers.


    And what tartan exhibition would be complete without a kilted, Gaelic singing, juggler! The school groups loved this guy!


    That is all for now, but be on the lookout for more info from this event, including the introduction of a very special new tartan!
    Last edited by M. A. C. Newsome; 6th April 11 at 05:56 AM.

  10. #10
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    Great photos and looks like a worthwhile event! I'm going to point my sister-the-certified-geneologist to the thread, I'm not sure if she has ever managed a visit to Ellis.

    But be careful. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by M. A. C. Newsome View Post


    A lot of women were having their photo taken next to "Sir Sean" this weekend!
    . . . you'll be putting Hamish back in hospital with this one!
    Proudly Duncan [maternal], MacDonald and MacDaniel [paternal].

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