May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 NIV

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Wonderful Shelburne Museum

Twenty years or so ago, we took a trip with the boys to Quebec, Canada and through the Northeast. One of the highlights I remember from that trip was a visit to the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT. Jim remembers that he tried to keep the boys entertained while I tried to see as much of their vast collections as I could. I also remember that I did not see it all but I thought it was a wonderful place. I've wanted to go back ever since.

Today we got there and despite fighting a summer cold, I finally got to leisurely walk around and see all the incredible collections. Along with their permanent collections, every year they have several special exhibits. First and foremost on my list were 3 special quilt exhibits. They were all unique and interesting. One was a collection of contemporary Vermont quilts. I recognized at least two quilts in that exhibit that I had seen in Quilt Shows. The second exhibit was a collection of quilts by an African-American artist named Rosie Lee Tompkins. It reminded me alot of the Gee's Bend Quilts. The third was an exhibit of Amish Quilts called "Stars and Bars". It was from a gift to the museum.

Another interesting and beautiful exhibit was "Out of This World: Shaker Design Past, Present, and Future". It contained five different groupings....historical furniture, commercial items sold by the Shakers, Religious drawings and calligraphy, contemporary Shaker furniture, and a fancy work--which were items that the Shakers were shunning in their own designs. I also enjoyed the Chandelier exhibit and the folk art collection.

Electra Havemeyer Webb was the founder of the museum. In her lifetime, she amassed an incredible amount of art and other collections. Along the way, others have contributed to the collections. At Shelburne, I was able to stand up close and personal to art works by Mary Cassatt (a personal friend of Electra), Monet, Manet and others. It was just amazing. Mrs Webb donated most of her art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY but quite a few nice pieces are here in VT.

For a visit to the Shelburne, check out this web-site Shelburne Museum. In the meantime, here a few pictures from the outside. Unfortunately you can't take pictures with flash inside so I don't have pictures of the collections.

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