Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of UVa Shelburne Museum
Shelburne, VT

6000 Shelburne Road
PO Box 10
Shelburne, VT 05482
(802) 985-3346


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New England Now: People

Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives

Peter Kirkiles: At Scale

Painting a Nation: American Art at Shelburne Museum


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Hunt-Wulkowicz Graphics


New England Now: People
June 26 - Oct 17, 2021
Murphy Gallery, Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education

New England Now: People is the second exhibition in a new biennial series featuring regional contemporary artists. Organized by Associate Curator Carolyn Bauer, this multi-media group exhibition plumbs and celebrates the communities and people of New England. The diversity of New England’s population—representing a multitude of ethnicities, cultures, traditions, and lifestyles—shapes and defines this beautiful and complex region today. Collectively, the works of art featured in the exhibition—including photography, painting, sculpture, and performance art—will portray multifaceted and evolving concepts of the “New Englander.”

The exhibition is designed to facilitate rich conversation on a variety of socio political issues and topics relevant to our region and beyond, including economic disparity and persistent bias and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The lasting events that have shaped the past year—from the pandemic to the reckoning around racial justice and equity—make this exhibition’s focus timely and salient.

Portraiture is a longstanding genre in the history of art, designed to document a living subject and preserve their likeness for time immemorial. Often focused on capturing the physical appearance of subjects, traditional portraits can simplify individuals’ changing and manifold identities. Breaking away from strict historic traditions and reinventing new methods of visual representation, contemporary multimedia artists expose the often unseen, internalized, and personal identities that are shaped by a myriad of social, cultural, and political experiences. Challenging the conventional practices of portraiture, and in support and celebration of inclusivity and diversity, New England Now: People presents a multifaceted, collective portrait of today’s “New Englander.” Representing each of New England’s six states, ten talented artists utilize unique methods and materials for exploring selfhood and community through their distinctive identities, experiences, and perspectives. Together, the artists’ voices, in unison with their multimedia works of art, offer a focused reflection of our region and nation. New England’s diverse population—representing a multitude of ethnicities, cultures, traditions, and identities—shapes and defines this beautiful and complex part of the world.”

New England Now: People—the second exhibition in Shelburne Museum’s biennial series—is intended to provoke and facilitate critical and timely discussions centered on the topics of identity, equity, and inclusion, in a way that challenges visitors’ assumptions and opens conversation that may, at times, be difficult. The featured artworks honor the vital role that individuality and diversity play in contributing to vibrant, thriving communities in New England. Moreover, many of the artworks in the exhibition allude to important issues threatening our peoples and communities, such as systemic and structural racism and injustice and discrimination based on ethnicity, class, religion, sexual orientation, ability, and gender identity. Presented at a time of reflection and action in the wake of the profound events that have shaped the past year and beyond—from the global pandemic to the reckoning around racial injustice and inequity—this exhibition charges visitors to consider how these realities affect their own lives and identities as well as that of their neighbors and their communities

Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives
Jun 2 - Aug 29, 2021
Colgate Gallery, Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education

Revisiting America: The Prints of Currier & Ives will explore how the largest printmaking company in nineteenth-century America visualized the nation’s social, political, and industrial fabric. The company is best known today for its lush, hand-colored lithographs that nostalgically depicted an idyllic republic of pioneer homesteads, sporting camps, and bucolic pastimes; however, these sentimental images comprised only one aspect of Currier & Ives’ production. The company’s inexpensive and popular prints were a ubiquitous presence for decades, and just as frequently touched on pressing social and political issues. Addressing economic development, western expansion, the Civil War, and controversies of racial and class politics, Currier & Ives portrayed scenes of urbanization, nation building, naval battles, catastrophic disasters, and current events that were far from idyllic.

Divided into five themes—Country Life, Hunting, Politics and History, Sport, and Urbanization—this exhibition reveals the surprising modernity of the firm’s prints. The works on view offer a complex and conflicted vision of America that embraced the possibilities of an emerging urban and industrial society while nostalgically celebrating the social stability of a rural ideal.

Peter Kirkiles: At Scale
Jun 2 - Oct 17, 2021

“I’m a maker; I’m also an admirer of things well made. Over the years, I’ve chosen to make things that I love. I find the subjects of my sculpture in real life; a shoe, a camera, a clock, a ruler…made to a scale that is one-to-one, it’s human scale.” –Peter Kirkiles

Sculptor Peter Kirkiles plays with the scale and materials of everyday objects. Whether an exact replica of an antique tall clock made in weathering steel, a measuring rule enlarged ten times its normal size, or a Studebaker truck shrunken down to the dimensions of a toy, his sculptures invite us to view the familiar in new and unexpected ways. The artist’s appreciation of the formal qualities of useful objects such as hand tools is evident in the detail and precision of his sculptures and their individual component parts. In particular, Kirkiles’ series of colossal desk, segmented, and folding rules encourage us to take full measure of our physical relationship to the material world around us.

This year, Shelburne Museum is pleased to feature fourteen of Peter Kirkiles’ sculptures throughout our campus. Selected by the artist, each site juxtaposes Kirkiles’ sculptures against the backdrop of the Museum’s buildings, collections, and gardens.

Painting a Nation: American Art at Shelburne Museum
Jun 2 - Oct 17, 2021
Webb Gallery

Painting a Nation is a major reinstallation of Shelburne Museum’s American paintings collection. The exhibition forms the core of a renewed emphasis and focus on American art and highlights themes of the collection’s strengths, particularly the New England landscape, genre painting, and portraiture.

American paintings were the last objects assembled by Museum founder Electra Havemeyer Webb before she died in 1960. Shelburne is the only museum in this region that can offer the breadth and depth of this group of paintings, which includes works by John Singleton Copley, Thomas Cole, Asher Durand, Winslow Homer, William Mathew Prior, Martin Johnson Heade, Albert Bierstadt, Fitz Henry Lane, Eastman Johnson, Grandma Moses, and Andrew Wyeth. Although many of the works have been loaned in recent years to museums around the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of American Folk Art, National Gallery of Art, and Amon Carter Museum of American Art, they have remained in storage at Shelburne Museum and this installation is the first time audiences have seen them in Vermont for over a decade.

The renovated Webb Gallery with new interior finishes and state of the art lighting will showcase this important collection for years to come. On view in Webb Gallery.

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