Stagecoach Inn and The Dana-Spencer Textile Galleries at Hat and Fragrance, home to two of the museum’s most important collections – American folk art and quilts – will reopen this season after updates and curation.
The Shelburne Museum’s iconic Round Barn is one of 39 buildings on the museum’s 45-acre campus. Courtesy picture.
This season, visitors will have a special opportunity to see a major exhibition of the work of Luigi Lucioni. Luigi Lucioni: Modern Light features the technically sophisticated realism that fostered the play of light and shadow on weathered barns and stately trees contributing to the genre called “Yankee Modernism.” Additionally, visitors can explore American art through the lens of glasses. Sight and Insight: Focus on American Art explores the ways sight, vision, and eyewear have played a role in American art history. Visitors of all ages will be delighted by the museum’s extensive and fascinating art and Americana collections spanning four centuries, from folk art and circus collections to horse-drawn carriages and decoys.
This season’s exhibits include:
Sight and Insight: Focus on American Art (May 15 – October 16) illuminates the history of creative response to perceptions of sight and invites new perspectives on how American artists have negotiated sight-related issues from the 18th to the 21st century. The exhibition features objects from the Shelburne Museum collection as well as major loans, including works by Rembrandt Peale, George Cope, Tseng Kwong Chi and others. Covering more than 200 years of art and technological innovation, it is the first major museum exhibition and scholarly publication to consider the myriad roles of eyewear and optical technologies in the history of American art. A virtual component of the exhibition has already been launched on the museum’s website. To explore the galleries online, visit: https://shelburnemuseum.org/online-exhibitions/eyesight-insight/
Luigi Lucioni: Modern Light (June 25-October 16) examines the career, influences and techniques of Italian-American artist Luigi Lucioni. A prolific painter and printmaker, Lucioni is known today for his landscape paintings, still lifes, portraits and etchings. modern light is the first comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work in a major public museum, as well as the first monographic exhibition of Lucioni’s art at the Shelburne Museum since 1968. Known during his lifetime as a technically sophisticated realist who fostered the play of light and shadow on majestic barns and trees, Lucioni contributed to the genre that art historian Bruce Robertson called “Yankee modernism”. Lucioni, along with Paul Sample, Maxfield Parrish, and even Charles Sheeler and Andrew Wyeth, portrayed an orderly but strange landscape and people who embodied an idealized set of “American” values at a time of great social and political change.
Commissioned to celebrate the museum’s 75th anniversary, Nancy Winship Milliken: varied and lively (May 15 to October 16), is a site-specific outdoor sculpture exhibition that embodies the Museum’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability while engaging in global and local ecological conversations, from climate change to the history of the Lake Champlain watershed. Set in a pollinator meadow planted for this exhibition, Winship Milliken’s four monumental post-and-beam structures feature different natural materials intrinsic to the earth, all of which explore themes related to sustainability: horsehair, wool, wax bee and driftwood. Activated by wind and sun, each sculpture uniquely moves, changes and adapts to the environment, inspiring community conversations around our roles and relationships with nature.
Maria Shell: Off the Grid (May 15-October 16) features 14 works by Shell created between 2011 and 2022 that explore how the artist pushes the boundaries of the traditional grid format of the American quilt. Shell produces contemporary quilts rooted in the tradition and craftsmanship of American quilt making. She takes classic components of traditional bedspreads and manipulates them to create surprising combinations of patterns, repeats and colors.
Museum tickets are available at the admissions office and no pre-registration is required. The museum will monitor advice from state and federal authorities regarding COVID-19 safety, with up-to-date information posted on the website. For more details on reopening and regulations related to COVID-19, please visit shelburnemuseum.org
About the Shelburne Museum
Founded in 1947 by pioneering folk art collector Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888-1960), the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont is the largest art and history museum in northern New England and Vermont’s premier public resource for visual art and material culture. The museum’s 45-acre campus comprises 39 buildings, including the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education and the Webb Gallery featuring important American paintings by Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Grandma Moses, John Singleton Copley and many others. For more information, please visit shelburnemuseum.org.
SHELBURNE, Vermont (May 4, 2022)—Shelburne Museum