The shabby but authentic linen weaver’s house provided the perfect setting for the baroness’s patched-up linen. In October 1945, the Swiss nurse Odette Graber married Jaap, Baron Schimmelpenninck van der Oije. Of course, there were shortages of all kinds of things in the Netherlands so soon after the war, so Odette was given linen from the linen set of her mother-in-law, who had married in 1901.
The bedsheets and pillowcases, tea towels and cloths had become more and more worn over the years, and Odette set to work patching and darning on the sewing machine. Only not very well, because she had never been taught how: that’s definitely not how it’s done!
Sanny had kept her worn linen, and she hung it on the washing line in the draughty attic, together with the darning, sewing and samplers of young girls who had been taught how. She also included pattern books to show the visitors what household textiles of the time looked like when they were brand new.
Sanny was guest curator and all the exhibited pieces are from her private collection. Museum Het Leids Wevershuis, Leiden, 6 May – 12 August 2018