In the upcoming exhibition on the women of Vasa, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about important but previously unknown narratives on Vasa. The researchers’ work reveals a partially new and surprising image of the living conditions of women during the early part of the 17th century.

Meet Margareta Nilsdotter, the head and property manager of the Stockholm shipyard who, after her husband’s death, assumed responsibility for the construction of Vasa and Skeppsgården, one of the largest workplaces in the country at the time. Get to know Brita Gustafsdotter Båth, the landowner and wood supplier at Ängsö Castle who sold timber to the shipyard where Vasa was constructed.

Meet Ylva and Beata who were on board Vasa at the time she sank. The sea was not only a sphere for men; women also participated in all possible maritime activities. According to researchers, Beata was on board as a guest. She might have been the sister or wife of a crew member. On the other hand, Ylva most probably remained on board for a bit longer.

By means of these four women, the exhibition focuses on the role of 17th century women in society at a time when they had more power and influence than that narrated by traditional historiography.

Opens Tuesday 23 May 2017