With the Robinson family’s farmhouse closed for the season there is a lovely pause at the museum before planning for 2020 goes into high gear. In this moment, we take stock of the past and set our goals… Read More
In May 2019, Contemporary Art at Rokeby Museum begins an ambitious two-year project designed to engage artists and the public with Rokeby Museum archives, objects, buildings, and land. Project activities will demonstrate how contemporary art can pick up the unfinished work of history and foster civic engagement in social, economic, and environmental justice issues.
This stunning exhibit chronicles the stories of Simon and Jesse, two fugitives from slavery who found shelter at Rokeby in the 1830s. Free & Safe traces their stories from slavery to freedom, introduces the abolitionist Robinsons who called Rokeby home, and explores the turbulent decades leading up to the Civil War.
We take our cues from the Robinsons when sharing the site with visitors, especially on the house tour. As Quakers, the Robinsons were subject to the “testimony of simplicity,” which dictated plainness in language, dress, and household furnishings. So, although interiors are densely packed with family belongings and vividly evoke the individuals who once lived here, they lack the decorative flourishes of fashionable abodes.