Saturday, May 16, 2015

"Museums provide places of relaxation and inspiration. And most importantly, they are a place of authenticity. We live in a world of reproductions - the objects in museums are real. It's a way to get away from the overload of digital technology." ~ Thomas P. Campbell

As promised, I am continuing with another post from my Vermont visit. On Mother's Day, Alex, Hannah and I visited The Shelburne Museum, located a short distance outside of Burlington. Alex and I had been to the museum numerous times in the past, when we would visit my sister and her family. It had been a long time, and we enjoyed recalling those earlier visits with his cousins when they were all young. Mostly, the museum is the same, though there have been a few changes and additions. I think that he and Hannah really enjoyed seeing it through adult eyes, and I enjoyed walking around without the added task of keeping track of small children!

All-in-all, we spent nearly six hours there, and were so grateful that the showers waited until our return trip to Montpellier to burst forth! Today I bring you Part I of our visit. With 38 buildings to tour through, you do not want all of my pictures at once!

First up - a little museum history.

"Located in Vermont’s scenic Lake Champlain Valley, Shelburne Museum is one of the finest, most diverse, and unconventional museums of art and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 38 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the Museum grounds.

Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888-1960) was a pioneering collector of American folk art and founded Shelburne Museum in 1947. The daughter of H.O. and Louisine Havemeyer, important collectors of European and Asian art, she exercised an independent eye and passion for art, artifacts, and architecture celebrating a distinctly American aesthetic.

When creating the Museum she took the imaginative step of collecting 18th- and 19th-century buildings from New England and New York in which to display the Museum’s holdings, relocating 20 historic structures to Shelburne. These include houses, barns, a meeting house, a one-room schoolhouse, a lighthouse, a jail, a general store, a covered bridge, and the 220-foot steamboat Ticonderoga.

The Museum’s collections, educational programs, special events, workshops, activities, and special exhibitions constantly offer new perspectives on four centuries of art and material culture, assuring visitors a museum experience unlike any other."

Many of the buildings that we toured through contained antique wagons, sleighs, etc. An amazing collection!

Traverse, ca. 1903 made of wood, iron and fabric. "The traverse took off down a snow-covered slope or street with 8 to 12 people aboard, hands grasping the ropes and feet in the grooves on each side. An experienced driver could control the steering using the ropes and foot bar to swivel the front of the sled. The front rod activated a brake blade that cut into the track to slow the sled. In the Vermont Winter Sports Carnival of 1877-1878, traverse coasting accompanied tobogganing,  horse racing on the ice, and an ice-boat regatta as an adult sport and competitive event akin to today's interest in outdoor sports." 

Alex and I got a real kick out of the fact that the popcorn wagon, pictured above, was built in Cortland, NY, our home-town!

The Circus Building - Very reminiscent of the Ringling Museum that we visited in Sarasota winter before last.

Beach Lodge

Rail Station and Grand Isle Rail Car

The Ticonderoga

Crew Quarters

This brings Part I to a close! Part II - Wednesday!

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy museums, and this one looks fantastic! How I love that old sleigh. :-)