Amely Husser

The fact that in 2012 Amely Husser’s collection of lace and embroidery was gifted to Vologda Open Air Museum became a new bright page in the history of cultural partnership of Vologda oblast and Switzerland. This gift was a result of cooperation between the Department of Culture and Cultural Heritage of Vologda Oblast and Vologda State Open Air Museum with the RF Embassy in the Swiss Confederation and representatives of the Swiss culture. The presentation of this collection took place in the Museum of Lace on 30 April, 2013.

Citizen of Switzerland Amely Husser gifted a collection which includes about 40 items. Of special interest are pillow cases made by different techniques and dated back to 1935-1945, heart stirring little christening hats and a christening certificate of 1931. A set of illustrations “Swiss national costume” is a colorful addition to the collection.

“Now, thanks to the gift of Amely Husser, in our museum we have wonderful examples of embroidery which we are going to demonstrate at different exhibitions in the Museum of Lace, - said the manager of the museum Julia Evseeva. – Most of the items have special marks, it is a unique handycraft. The works decorated with a unique Appenzell embroidery are so tiny that it seems that the embroideresses used a loupe. And the most heart stirring gift is Amely’s christening certificate and a little christening hat. It must be so difficult to give away such objects, for this reason the value of such showpieces strongly increases. All the items given to the museum are in a good state – which is the proof that they were treated with special care, and the museum workers will also take care of them”.

The Museum got these wonderful gifts mostly thanks to Konstantin Nefedov, a Consul of the Russian Federation Embassy in Switzerland. Owing to his efforts both the collections of lace of Ruth Sheidegger-Meier in April 2012 and Amely Husser’s collection in June 2012 were delegated to the museum. 30 April, 2013 he together with Amely’s daughter Marianna Stavro-Husser gave Alexander Suvorov, the general director of Vologda State Open Air Museum, the gift deed of the collection. Marianna Stavro-Husser also gave the museum a few Appenzell embroidery items, and Konstantin Nefedov himself - old bobbins and a few Swiss postage stamps: with a picture of bobbins on one of them and the second one being the only stamp in the world made by St Gallen lace technique, which is a philatelic rarity.

A part of Amely Husser’s collection will be demonstrated in the first hall of the Museum of Lace up to 3 June 2013.

In Switzerland Amely Husser is famous as a writer. She started writing already being in middle age and it became a way to look back at her vast life experience and to summarize her constant reflections about the destiny of her family. Her first novel “Inimitable pretenders” was published in 1992 under the pseudonym Amy Frossard. A special look at the world full of naïve childish wisdom materialized in the novel “Ladder of Monsieur Merony” which was published in 1994. Presentation of Amely Husser’s book “Where are you from, stranger?” Took place in art gallery “Red Bridge” on 30 April 2013.

The ground for this book was found in the story of the family of Amely Husser’s son-in-law –her daughter’s husband Michel Stavro. While writing the book Amely relied on different historical sources, archive materials and documents. It is a narration of how people left their home and how difficult it was for them to find a new motherland – which was a usual destiny of millions of people at the beginning of last century. The story begins in Constantinople of early XX century, then the action takes place in Vienna at the time of Freud and ends up in the middle of the last century in Switzerland. The main character is Greek-born Constantin Hileidity Hakamaki Stavro. He has to leave Constantinople for fear of revenge of the Turkish Sultan for him being an official at the service of the Ottoman Porte. All the rest of his life Constantin Stavro spent abroad – in Austria and Switzerland, remembering Greece and speculating upon the question, what is motherland. The novel, written in beautiful lyrical language, is translated into Russian by Igor Petrov.

The book was presented by Constantin Nefedov, a Consul of the Russian Federation Embassy in Switzerland, he noted that in 2013 guests from Switzerland visited Vologda three times. In January Ruth Sheidegger-Meier was awarded with a Prize “Open Heart” for unselfishness and love for Vologda. In April Ruth Sheidegger-Meier and the main keeper of the Museum of Textile of St Gallen Ursula Maria Karbakcher were conducting attribution of the items of the XVIII-XX lace and embroidery collection which had been delivered to the museum in April 2012. At the end of April Swiss delegation including Amely Husser’s daughter and son-in-law arrived to present her new book and lace collection.

Prepared by Svetlana Grishina and Irina Sorokina  

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