Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont is one of North America’s finest, most diverse and unconventional museums of art, design and Americana.
Over 100,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 38 exhibition buildings. Shelburne’s collection includes works by the great Impressionists Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas as well as a prized collection of folk art including trade signs, weathervanes, decoys and quilts. Shelburne Museum’s Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education is open year-round with exhibitions of fine art, folk art and design and special programming including lectures, live music, film, hands-on art activities and symposia. Also open year-round is the restored Webb Gallery, which features important American paintings by Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Grandma Moses, John Singleton Copley and many more.
The story behind the founding of Shelburne Museum
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.
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.