Located in Vermont's scenic Lake Champlain valley, Shelburne Museum is one of the nation's 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.
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.
In Shelburne Mrs. Webb sought to create "an educational project, varied and alive." What visitors experience at Shelburne is unique: remarkable collections exhibited in a village-like setting of historic New England architecture, accented by a landscape that includes over 400 lilacs, a circular formal garden, herb and heirloom vegetable gardens, and perennial gardens.
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.
This is an absolutely fabulous museum, it's so much more than what we think of as a 'museum'. So many different buildings and histories to explore as well as changing art exhibitions. You could easily spend days there and indeed most tickets are good for 2 days! There are a couple of places to eat which is nice and gives you options. One of them is 'Skinny Pancake' which has a good range. There's also a nice gift shop.
This place is amazing!! The buildings, not to mention the Ticonderoga, will leave you in awe! The amazing collection of artwork is out of this world! And the people who work here are friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. This is not a place you can see all in one day, but tickets are good for 2 consecutive days. I absolutely recommend this museum to anyone visiting (or living in) the Burlington area.
Coming from overseas I visited the Museum solely for the Ticonderoga, thinking that was the whole museum. Imagine my surprise at a sprawling, 40-acre piece of New England history. I absolutely adored my time there and would love to go back for the chance to spend a whole day there (I was only able to spend a few hours there). Incredibly well-maintained buildings, carriages, artifacts - if you're in the area it is absolutely worth your time.
I almost passed this museum by, turned around and came back. Possibly the most interesting collection of different types of history I have ever seen. Expect to spend two days to see it all. The circus collection was the most interesting to me. If you have a chance, do not pass this by.
This is a beautiful way to experience history, art and nature!!! My kids loved getting to walk in a train and steamboat! The children's playground and tram was also helpful!