We spent a day visiting the Shelburne Museum, in Shelburne, VT, just south of Burlington. I say we spent a day, but it was a three hour drive to get there and a three hour drive to get back! But we were able to see a great deal of the museum in the time we had there. Several friends told us not to miss this museum - and they were right. The only down side that day was the heat and humidity. But we were there and so we had to make the best of it!
The museum's collection was begun by Electra Havemeyer Webb, 1888-1960. She collected American folk art and founded the Museum in 1947. Almost all of the buildings are transplanted historic buildings from New England and New York. Her family also collected impressionist art and many of her family's paintings were given to the Museum of Modern Art. Fortunately, some remain here at the museum.
This is the steamship Ticonderoga, which Electra Webb managed to purchase and have delivered, over land, to the museum. The ship was used on Lake Champlain. It is in wonderful condition. Visitors are allowed to walk all over the ship.
A cute little lighthouse on the grounds, near the Ticonderoga. There were lovely gardens everywhere - trying their best to survive in the heat.
I love old stone houses. This one was just great.
This is another of the old buildings at the museum. The collections are housed in a wide variety of buildings like this. I enjoyed the buildings just as much as the contents!
A little cabin next to a beautiful fountain surrounded by gardens.
One of the most impressive collections we saw was the doll collection. Of course they were all behind glass, and you were not really supposed to use a flash (although it looks like mine flashed here... oops), so it was difficult to get pictures. I managed a few.
What a face!
A dark-haired beauty.
Check out the cheeks on this one!
I'm not sure...but, there must be a reason for this doll's expression. I thought she was just great!
These next few dolls are automatons. They are "mechanical" and designed to move around. The details were exquisite. These examples are each about 3 feet tall.
The monkey drummer. Great outfit!
This was my favorite. I would love to know what his motion is - how he moves.
Three more lovely dolls. All original clothes. I wish I had many more pictures of the dolls. Each display case was a wonderland!
This is the only building on the grounds that was actually built on-site for the museum. It houses the personal furnishings from the family's Park Avenue apartment in New York City. The rooms have been carefully re-created here. There is a grand and gorgeous staircase. Mike has good pictures of it - I'll post those later with some of his other photos. There is art, furniture, portraits, rugs, books, sculpture, lighting, textiles... what a grand apartment that must have been! Not many families have a Monet over the fireplace and two Rembrandts on the opposite wall!
The museum was well worth the visit - even on a hot and steamy day. The collection of horse-drawn carriages and horse-drawn sleighs was absolutely incredible. They are housed in a very old u-shaped barn, which was fabulous - but about 110 degrees inside! The antique toys and quilts were also very, very special. I had hoped to see some antique hooked rugs - but there were none on display!
Maybe on our next visit...