Sunday, September 7, 2008

Shelburn Museum, Vermont

My family and I just got back from a trip to Vermont.
As my dentist said, while his hands were in my mouth,
"Why Vermont? Do you have family there?"
No, we don't. But in a way, I do. 2 of my quilts have been on display at the Shelburn Museum since May. The show will be over by October. I had to go and see that it was a reality that I was in a real and very noted museum.
I planned the trip for months. Even Matt wanted to come with us. We took the red eye to New York then onto Burlington, Vermont. We stayed at the this adorable place that was better than a bed and breakfast called the Howard Street Guest House. Check it out.

Vermont is so beautiful and green. The houses are so quaint and charming and come in every color, even yellow.

The Shelburn Museum is fascinating with all of its exhibits and collections. When you first arrive you are greeted at the big red barn.
There was a sign on the wall noting all the exhibits on display. There on the sign was a picture of my Pansy quilt and the exhibit I was in.

The museum in in Shelburn, Vermont on Lake Champlain.
It's one the nation's finest and most diverse and unconventional museums of art design and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 39 exhibition buildings on 45 beautiful acres. There is even a Vermont light house, covered bridge and the famous boat, Ticonderoga. The Shelburn also has one of the largest and most noted quilt collections in the world.

This year they where highlighting the special exhibit Mary Cassatt: Friends and Family.
They had planted the grounds with chosen varieties of flowers for the occasion. To go along with the event was a special exhibit of flower quilts, historic and new. That is where my quilts come in. They where shown in the Hat and Fragrance Textile Gallery and Gardens. It was so cool. The next room had Hat Box collections that were to die for.
Next to that was a display of hooked rugs
and needle work samplers.

After we saw where my quilts where, we went over to the Mary Cassatt exhibit. She has always been one of my favorite Impressionist painters. She was also the good friend of Electra Havemeyer Webb's mother, who founded the Shelbune Museum.

I was just staring at her paintings when I hear laughing coming from the next room.
It was Joe and Matt reading a timeline of Mary's life. They both thought it was so funny that she came to a point in her life where her family (like mine) told her that if she was going to be a real artist, she needed to start selling her work and that she was also known for being outspoken and spoke her mind. I didn't see what was so funny.

As I walked around studying her works I realized that my art was in the same museum as Mary Cassatt.
I felt a lump in my throat and tried not to show Matt or Joe that I was starting to get pretty emotional. Then my sweet son came over to me put his big arms around me and told me how proud he is of me.
That was it!
Tears start to fill my eyes, then a security guard, watching all this, started to share a story about the exhibit. "...and that one over there is the first Monet to be brought to the United States." He looked at us funny as I tried to catch my breath. I finally had to tell him that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, because you see, I have 2 of my art quilts here on the same grounds as Mary Cassatt and Monet.
This can't be happening. But it was.
He quickly told the docent and they all made a big fuss that made me want to get out of there real fast.
Joe was making funny jokes about me and my quilts that made everyone laugh.
Matt just gave me those big brown eyes that said he knew how I felt.

Later, I spent about $200 in the gift shop and was able to calm down and felt much better.
It's amazing what a little shopping will do.