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


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


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Joel Barber & the Modern Decoy

William Wegman: Outside In

In Their Element: Jonathan D. Ebinger, Rodrigo Nava, Dan Snow: Outdoor Sculpture

Ink + Icons: Album Quilts from the Permanent Collection

Ogden Pleissner and the Working Landscape


Joel Barber & the Modern Decoy
September 14 through January 12, 2020
Colgate Gallery, Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education.

The culmination of five years of research, a new exhibition at Shelburne Museum explores the life, collection and artwork of Joel D. Barber (1876-1952), a pioneering wildfowl decoy collector who saw in them a unique American art form.

Joel Barber & the Modern Decoy opens on Saturday, Sept. 14, with a public opening reception from 7 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13. A decoy carving demonstration is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Featuring more than 100 decoys, drawings, historical photographs and watercolors from Shelburne Museum’s extensive collection and archives, the exhibition takes a comprehensive view of Barber’s fascination with decoys, starting with a red-breasted merganser decoy he came across in a sail loft on the South Shore of Long Island in 1918.

He wrote and illustrated a groundbreaking book, Wild Fowl Decoys, published in 1934, where he introduced his designs for the perfect “modern” decoy. The book remains a primer for collectors today. The exhibition features plans he drafted for so-called “modern” decoys.

“As an early collector, Joel Barber’s life was subject to considerable folklore. This exhibition sheds light on and paints a picture of the collector based on insights from the hundreds of documents in his archives housed here at Shelburne Museum,” said Chief Curator and Francie and John Downing Curator of American Art Kory Rogers. “Barber was truly devoted to what he called floating sculpture, and committed to sharing his passion with the public through exhibitions, his publications and publicity.”

Shelburne Museum is home to the first major public collection of decoys amassed as artwork. Joel Barber’s collection of more than 300 decoys forms the nucleus of this renowned collection. Barber’s extensive archives of more than 600 documents is also housed at the museum.

Joel Barber & the Modern Decoy opens on Saturday, September 14, and runs through January 12, 2020, in the Colgate Gallery, Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education.

William Wegman: Outside In
Through October 20, 2019
Murphy Gallery, Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education

William Wegman, On and In the Landscape (detail), 1988. Color Polaroid, 24 x 20 in. Courtesy of the artist and Sperone Westwater, New York.

Shelburne Museum is proud to present William Wegman: Outside In, a comprehensive exhibition exploring over four decades of the renowned artist’s ongoing fascination with the natural world. This poignant exhibition is drawn from the artist’s collection and showcases over 60 works of art in a variety of media.

In addition to a selection of 20 x 24 Polaroid photographs with his beloved Weimaraners, for which he is so well known, William Wegman: Outside In also features portfolio pages from his handmade book Field Guide to North America and to Other Regions, drawings, and his most recent postcard paintings, including two new works inspired by archival postcards of Shelburne Museum.

Organized by the William Wegman Studio and Shelburne Museum’s assistant curator, Carolyn Bauer, William Wegman: Outside In will be on view in the Pizzagalli Center for Arts and Education’s Murphy Gallery from June 22 until October 20, 2019.

Wegman video

In Their Element: Jonathan D. Ebinger, Rodrigo Nava, Dan Snow: Outdoor Sculpture
Through Oct 31, 2019
Museum Grounds

Shelburne Museum is thrilled to present In Their Element: Jonathan D. Ebinger, Rodrigo Nava, Dan Snow, an outdoor installation featuring the evocative work of three contemporary artists on view across the museum’s expansive campus. These captivating sculptures complement and amplify one another through their shared engagement with fire, wind, and earth; subjects of fascination since antiquity. Exploring themes ranging from the anatomy of wildlife to the buoyancy of inflated steel forms, and the relationship between site-specific stone structures within the natural environment, Ebinger, Nava, and Snow push the boundaries of their respective materials and processes, revealing new experimentation with these classical elements.

Ink + Icons: Album Quilts from the Permanent Collection
Through Oct 31, 2019
Hat and Fragrance Textile Gallery

Drawing from Shelburne Museum’s extensive historic textile collections, Ink + Icons: Album Quilts from the Permanent Collection brings together 9 exquisite bedcovers to investigate the ways quiltmakers and communities created lasting material memories by reproducing meaningful symbols and taking advantage of technological developments like reliable indelible inks to tell their stories. Objects range from carefully inscribed friendship albums and botanical compendia to red-work storybook albums, the iconic “Major Ringgold” Baltimore Album quilt, and more.

Ogden Pleissner and the Working Landscape
Through Oct 31, 2019
Museum Grounds

Ogden Minton Pleissner (1905-1983) created hundreds of views of the American working landscape from the 1920s to the early 1980s. In step with larger trends in American narrative painting reflective of national events like the Great Depression (1929-1939) and the effects of New Deal era federal funding programs for American art, some compositions reveal ordered, productive sites, while others frame a rural landscape decimated by waves of technological change, economic hardship, and regional migration. View the scope of his work in the beautifully renovated Pleissner Gallery at Shelburne Museum.

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