The joy of letters... Naples, 18th century
The joy of letters... Naples, 18th century
Felicitas Maeder
Project Sea-silk
Natural History Museum
Augustinergasse 2, CH-4001 Basel, Switzerland

Mail: felicitas.maeder at

Born in 1946 in St.Gallen. Schools in Teufen AR and St.Gallen, language schools in Paris, London and Bologna. Further education in cultural management. Administration work in various church, social-scientific and cultural institutions, most recently in an interdisciplinary research programme at the University of Basel. Commitment to cultural and environmental areas.
Since 1998, a volunteer at the Natural History Museum Basel and initiator of the project sea-silk.
2012 honorary doctor of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Basel.

How did I come to the subject sea-silk?

Theo Angelopoulos (1935-1912), the great Greek filmmaker, once said: «Sometimes I have the impression that a subject chooses, on a miraculous way, a person and not a person the topic. You wake up one morning, and an idea has been planted in your head, an idea buzzing around like a bird. It gets to be an obsession, and the bird comes again and again until it has become a real story.»

So sea-silk found me. It got an obsession and the story developed slowly, stubbornly, with setbacks and detours, but also with many happy coincidences, and an infinite number of good encounters.

In the matter of sea-silk, I am an autodidact. A few characteristics that come to my benefit: I am curious and enthusiastic; I like odd things and odd associations, books and libraries, archives and antiquarian bookshops, generally all that has to do with letters and writing. I admire the ancient crafts and the love and patience with which they were and are exercised. I love the sea and the people of Italy, and wherever I find traces of sea-silk. I like to travel, preferably by train and ship. I can be stubborn when it matters, and last but not least, I think as Descartes: «Doubt is the beginning of wisdom.» Not a bad slogan, I mean, for a subject so deeply rooted in mythology.

The result you find here: I hope you enjoy the exploration.