Exploring Vermont’s History and Art at the Shelburne Museum

Welcome to Vermont, where history and art come alive at the Shelburne Museum! This unique attraction showcases the rich culture and heritage of the region through its impressive collection of artworks, artifacts, and architecture. The museum is spread over 45 acres of picturesque land, offering visitors a chance to connect with the past and explore the beauty of Vermont’s countryside. Whether you’re an art lover, a history enthusiast, or simply seeking a fun day out with family and friends, the Shelburne Museum is a must-visit destination on your trip to Vermont.

Introduction to Shelburne Museum

Shelburne Museum is an extraordinary museum located in Vermont that showcases American art and design. Spread across 45 acres of land, the museum is home to more than 150,000 works of art and artifacts that range from fine art to folk art to contemporary art. Founded in 1947 by Electra Havemeyer Webb, the museum has an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture, textiles, and toys that represent American culture throughout the centuries.

Overview of Shelburne Museum

Shelburne Museum is more than just a museum; it’s a complete experience. The museum’s property is divided into 39 buildings, each of which is a unique exhibit in itself. The museum’s bucolic setting is hard to ignore, and it’s complemented by the serene landscaping that surrounds it. The museum’s exhibits are one-of-a-kind, and visitors can spend an entire day exploring the various buildings and galleries to get a glimpse of what life was like centuries ago.

The exhibits at Shelburne Museum are divided into themes, and each building houses artifacts and objects that revolve around that theme. Visitors can explore buildings such as the Ticonderoga, which is a 220-foot steamship that sailed on Lake Champlain, or the Webb Gallery, which showcases fine art and sculptures from around the world. Other buildings include the Shaker Museum, which houses a collection of Shaker furniture, the Circus Building, which contains circus-related artifacts, and the Blacksmith Shop, which demonstrates how blacksmiths worked in the 19th century. There’s something for everyone at Shelburne Museum.

Museum’s Collection

The museum’s collection boasts an impressive collection of over 150,000 works of art and artifacts. The collection is diverse and includes everything from paintings, sculptures, furniture, textiles, and toys to tools, weapons, and vehicles. The museum has an extensive collection of American folk art, including paintings, sculptures, and textiles. Visitors can see the intricate quilts that were made by women during the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as the hand-carved figurines that were created by self-taught artists. The collection also includes works by American masters such as Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, and Grandma Moses.

In addition to fine art, the museum’s collection includes everyday objects that were used by Americans throughout the centuries. Visitors can see horse-drawn carriages, vintage cars, and even a 1920s steam locomotive. The museum also has an extensive collection of toys, including dolls, teddy bears, and board games, which gives visitors a glimpse into childhood during different eras in American history.

History of Shelburne Museum

Shelburne Museum’s history dates back to the 1940s when Electra Havemeyer Webb, a wealthy collector, decided to preserve American art and design. She began collecting art from around the country and soon realised that she needed a bigger space to display her collection. In 1947, she opened the Shelburne Museum, which has now become one of the most extensive and unique museums in America.

Webb’s vision for the museum was to create a museum that not only displayed art but also demonstrated how everyday life was in America throughout the centuries. She sourced buildings from different parts of the country, moved them to the museum’s property, and used them to house her collection. The buildings are not just exhibits but are also furnished with everyday objects that would have been used when the buildings were occupied. The buildings and their contents are carefully curated to give visitors an immersive experience into American culture, art, and design.

In conclusion, Shelburne Museum is a museum like no other. It provides a glimpse into American history, culture, and art, through its extensive collection of artifacts, art, and buildings. Visitors can spend a day exploring the museum’s grounds and get lost in the exhibits, all of which are unique and one-of-a-kind. Shelburne Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in American history and art.

Exhibitions at Shelburne Museum

Current Exhibitions

Shelburne Museum, located in Vermont, is home to several ongoing exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibitions showcase different aspects of American art and design, making it a haven for art enthusiasts and history buffs. One popular exhibition is “Dog Days,” which features a collection of dog-inspired art and artifacts. Another exhibition titled “Backstage Pass: Rock & Roll Photography” showcases a collection of photographs that capture the essence of the music industry.

Another ongoing exhibition, “In Their Element: Photographs by Ethan Hubbard,” features breathtaking landscape photography of New England. Visitors can also check out the “Art of Adventure” exhibition, which explores the role of transportation in American art and design.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Shelburne Museum strives to keep things fresh and exciting for visitors by announcing new exhibitions every year that focus on unique themes. One upcoming exhibition that art enthusiasts should look out for is “Eyes on the Land”. This exhibition explores the history of photography in the American landscape and will feature renowned photographers such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.

Another upcoming exhibition titled “Frozen in Time: The Artifacts of Climate Change” will present the impact of climate change through artifacts such as art, photography, and other historical objects. This exhibition aims to educate visitors on the importance of dealing with climate change and how it affects our environment.

Past Exhibitions

Shelburne Museum has a rich history of successful past exhibitions that have showcased different aspects of American culture. One such exhibition is “Hooked on Rugs,” which explored the art of rug-hooking in America. Another exhibition titled “A Circumstance of Place” showcased the museum’s collection of fine art, decorative art, and folk art.

One of the most notable past exhibitions was “Sweet Tooth: The Art of Dessert”, which featured a collection of sweet treats and desserts that represented different periods in American history. The exhibition delved into the history of dessert-making in America and how different cultures contributed to the country’s diverse dessert culture.

Shelburne Museum continues to be a destination for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike. With exciting upcoming exhibitions and a rich history of past exhibitions, it is sure to be a place for people to learn, appreciate, and enjoy American art and culture.

Events at Shelburne Museum

Shelburne Museum is not just a place to admire art and history, it’s a destination for events. The museum hosts a variety of events throughout the year that celebrate American culture in all its forms. From music concerts and art classes to special events, there’s something for everyone at Shelburne Museum.

Concerts and Performances

If you’re a fan of American music and dance, you’ll love the concerts and performances at Shelburne Museum. The museum hosts several events throughout the year that showcase some of the best American music and dance performances. One of the popular events is the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Summer Festival. The festival features live classical performances with musicians from around the world. It’s a great way to spend an evening listening to beautiful orchestral music under the stars.

The Champlain Valley Folk Festival is another popular event hosted at Shelburne Museum. The festival features a unique blend of traditional, contemporary, and multicultural folk music and dance. It’s a family-friendly event with activities for all ages, such as workshops, kids’ activities, and local food vendors. The festival celebrates the diverse music and dance traditions of the Champlain Valley and beyond.

Art Classes and Workshops

Shelburne Museum doesn’t just showcase art, it also teaches it through various art classes and workshops. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, there’s something for everyone. The museum offers classes in watercolor painting, photography, wood carving, and other art techniques and styles. These classes are taught by professional artists who are passionate about sharing their skills and knowledge with others. It’s a great opportunity to learn a new skill or improve your existing ones in a supportive and inspiring environment.

Special Events

Shelburne Museum hosts several special events throughout the year that focus on different aspects of American culture. These events are great opportunities to learn about American history and traditions while having fun with family and friends. One of the popular events is the Vermont Antique and Classic Car Meet. This annual event features hundreds of vintage cars and trucks from different eras and brands. Visitors can admire the cars, talk to the owners, and even vote for their favorite ones. It’s a unique experience for car enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

If you’re a fan of quilting, don’t miss the Vermont Quilt Festival hosted at Shelburne Museum. The festival showcases hundreds of handcrafted quilts from different regions and styles. Visitors can admire the intricate designs and techniques, attend workshops and lectures, and even buy quilting supplies. It’s a great way to connect with the quilting community and celebrate this American tradition.

The Harvest Festival is another popular event hosted at Shelburne Museum. The festival celebrates the bounty of the fall season with traditional activities such as apple pressing, cider making, corn husking, and pumpkin painting. Visitors can also enjoy live music, local food, and hayrides. It’s a family-friendly event that brings the community together to celebrate the harvest.

In conclusion, Shelburne Museum is not just a museum, it’s a vibrant community that celebrates American culture through events, classes, and workshops. Whether you’re a music lover, an artist, or a history buff, there’s something for you at Shelburne Museum. Plan a visit and experience the best of American culture first-hand!

Explore American Art and Design at Shelburne Museum

Shelburne Museum, located in Shelburne, Vermont, is one of the most unique museums in America, showcasing over 150,000 works of art and objects that explore the country’s art and design history. Founded in 1947 by Electra Havemeyer Webb, the museum has been a hub for art lovers and enthusiasts, attracting thousands of visitors every year.

With a large and diverse collection of art, Shelburne Museum is a dynamic destination. Visitors can immerse themselves in the country’s artistic and cultural heritage through the various indoor and outdoor exhibits, including costume and textiles, fine arts, historic buildings, and other intriguing objects.

Exploring the Vast Collection

To gain the full experience of Shelburne Museum, visitors should plan to spend an entire day exploring the museum’s vast collection of art and objects. Throughout the museum’s 45-acre campus, there are 39 historic buildings, eight gardens, and a circus museum.

Some of the museum’s most notable collections include the American folk art collection, the circus collection, the doll collection, and the costume and textile collection.

The American folk art collection is a vast and diverse collection that includes paintings, sculptures, furniture, textiles, and other objects. The circus collection, which is one of the largest in the world, has more than 3,000 objects, including posters, wagons, costumes, and props.

The museum’s doll collection is a fan-favorite, with more than 1,400 dolls, including dolls from the 18th century to modern times. Lastly, the costume and textile collection has more than 20,000 items, including dresses, hats, and shoes. The collection includes notable pieces, such as Paul Poiret’s 1919 “Sorbet” gown.

Ongoing Exhibitions and Special Events

Shelburne Museum has a continually evolving schedule of exhibitions, which range from newly acquired works to temporary exhibits. Visitors can enjoy various special events, such as concerts, holiday celebrations, art fairs, and more.

One such exhibition is the “Out of the Vault” exhibit, where visitors can view over 100 never-before-seen pieces from the museum’s collection. Visitors can also enjoy the “Design Tonic” exhibition, which showcases postwar American furniture and design.

Scenic Location and Amenities

The museum’s scenic location in Vermont’s Lake Champlain Valley adds to the experience of visiting Shelburne Museum. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and fields as they stroll through the museum. The grounds are also home to a 220-foot steamboat, the Ticonderoga, which dates back to 1906 and offers visitors a unique way to explore the beauty of the surrounding area.

In addition to the museum’s beautiful surroundings, the museum offers various amenities, including two restaurants, a gift shop, and ample picnic areas. The museum’s facilities also include a children’s garden and a family center, which hosts interactive exhibits and educational programs for families.


Why Visit Shelburne Museum?

Shelburne Museum is a one-of-a-kind destination that provides a unique experience for visitors to explore and appreciate American art and design. With its vast collection, ongoing exhibitions, and special events, there’s always something new to discover at the museum. The scenic location and amenities make it an excellent destination for families and art enthusiasts alike. So, plan your next visit to Shelburne Museum and immerse yourself in America’s rich artistic legacy!

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