The Zeeuws Museum has a treat for fans of fashion and ethnography!

What is more universal than the concept of protection? Everywhere and at all times man has required protection against the weather and against enemies and other dangerous external forces. This summer the Zeeuws Museum presents the exhibition Protect Me! Clothing and Accessories for Body and Soul, featuring a varied selection of ethnographic objects, traditional dress and fashion items that offer protection. They include rainwear, mourning clothes, a bullet-proof jacket, penis gourds, an Inuit fur suit, muskrat-fur mittens, red coral amulets and a shaman’s cloak.


The varied items will be shown in a colourful setting and divided into three thematic categories: physical, social and spiritual protection. They are interpreted from an ethnographic and a fashion-history perspective and in relation to current concerns. Physical protection is a much broader field than you might imagine. Our challenge was to select the most evocative objects, such as Ted Noten’s tiara for Princess Maxima in the form of a polo helmet, and healthy underwear by Dr Gustav Jaeger from 1870. Social protection relates mainly to dress codes for social or religious groups, such as a contemporary HEMA headscarf for Muslim women. In terms of spiritual protection, we think mainly of protection for the soul, including amulets and costumes and masks that can disguise your identity (or soul).


The exhibition is accompanied by a ‘bookazine’ designed by Glamcult Studio, which is also responsible for the publicity and graphic design. A documentary film provides background information but can also be watched separate from the exhibition.