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.
A great place to visit! Lots of fun and exciting things to see. It's not as big as it seems and is easy to walk around. Probably more carriages than any one person needs to see in a lifetime. Ticonderoga was great. Definitely worth a visit.
A very eclectic experience awaits you at the Shelburne museum. I really enjoyed walking and viewing a unique collection of buildings and contents. Included are rotating exhibits from the outside like a collection of outer space themed toys from the early 20th century to to modern times. And a very good exhibit of Steampunk clothing and objects.
Despite going during the winter season, the exhibits that were open had great detail and information. I'd recommend going during the summer though, a lot more to see and do. Oh, and the staff were very engaging!
My absolute favorite museum, there's no place quite like it. What a great way to learn about Vermont and American history and culture. It's worth returning to again and again.