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Thursday, July 05, 2012

A surprise treasure

 While visiting Erin and Chris in Vermont, we visited the Shelburne museum just south of Burlington.  It is a huge museum with an amazing collection of all kinds of things and beautiful grounds.  Here's an excerpt from the website...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 39 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the Museum grounds.
Impressionist paintings, folk art, quilts and textiles, decorative arts, furniture, American paintings, and a dazzling array of 17th-to 20th-century artifacts are on view. Shelburne is home to the finest museum collections of 19th-century American folk art, quilts, 19th- and 20th-century decoys, and carriages.
 They had several interesting temporary exhibits including the history of snowmachines; robots, rockets,  and steampunk; metal elephants sculptures, vermont rifles of the 20th century, and miniature ivory paintings of fictional creatures which we almost passed up.
 Many of the buildings on the property were original and many others were moved to the property later on.  From the website...The 39 galleries, historic houses, and community buildings that house the Museum’s collections are themselves a collection spanning 300 years of architecture. They include houses, barns, a lighthouse, a schoolhouse, a jailhouse, a general store, and the National Historic Landmark steamboat Ticonderoga.
 We really enjoyed walking the grounds and each other's company in addition to all of the exhibits.  The old modes of transportation were very interesting, including a barn full of carriages, an old side wheel steamboat, and the train depot which is still set up exactly how it was in 1953.  Standing in those places, you could really imagine what life might have been like in the early 1900's.
At nearly every stop in the museum, we were taken by surprise by the hidden gems in this low key, unpretentious museum.  In the memorial house of Electra Havenmayer Webb, the founder of the museum, there were multiple pieces of fine art including several Monet's, Manet's, Degas', and pieces by Tiffany Co. 
 Thankfully the admission ticket allows entrance to the museum for two consecutive days because we spent 2 days at the museum and still did not get a chance to see it all.  I would definitely go back for another visit if I get the chance.

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