2017 Programs & Events — Yours in the Cause Gallery Talk

We are currently closed for the season, but will reopen on Sunday, May 20th, 2018. Rokeby Museum is open daily 10–5 from mid-May to late October. Please see our 2017 programs below for a sample of what’s happening at Rokeby. Our programs are supported in part by The Vermont Humanities Council.


Opening Day — Clemmons Family Farm
Sunday, May 21, 2017 3:00

Come and meet our neighbors and learn about the newest stop on Vermont’s African American Heritage Trail. The Clemmons family of Charlotte has owned a 148-acre farm since the 1960s. Now, they are transforming their home with its fields, forests, and six historic buildings into a center for African and African American art, heritage, and culture. $2 program only or free with Museum admission.

Black Lives MatterBlack Lives Matter Forum
Sunday, June 11, 2017 3:00 pm

Come and join the discussion. Historian Jim Ralph, economist Stephanie Seguino, and Vermont State Police Captain Ingrid Jonas will discuss implicit bias. Professor Seguino will report on her most recent research on racial disparities in policing, Professor Ralph will place the Black Lives Matter movement in the context of 20th-century civil rights, and Captain Jonas will tell us about State Police efforts. $2 program only or free with Museum admission.

Frederick DouglassWhat to the Negro is the 4th of July?
Sunday, July 2, 2017 3:00 pm

Join us to read Frederick Douglass’s most famous speech, originally delivered on July 5, 1852. Declining to speak on the 4th of July, Douglass instead castigated the United States for decades of slavery and injustice. Come and add your voice to this statewide public reading sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council. Free.

Joseph Carpenter and unidentified childExhibit Opening — Yours in the Cause: Faces of Radical Abolition
Sunday, July 9, 2017
Gallery talk with curator Jane Williamson at 3:00 pm

Thousands of Americans banded together to overthrow slavery in the decades before the Civil War, including the Robinsons of Rokeby and the abolitionists featured in this insightful exhibition that explores their ideas and actions. Rarely seen historic photographs depict a small group of abolitionists, each with ties to the Robinsons as documented in letters, account books, broadsides, and other artifacts that are also on view. It’s your chance to meet some of the most principled and determined Americans you’ve probably never heard of. These daguerreotypes, tintypes, and cartes de visite – the earliest forms of photography — are engaging on their own, as historic artifacts. Understood in the context of their time, they help us to see the origins and structure of the American protest movement.

Picturing Frederick DouglassPicturing Frederick Douglass — John Stauffer
Sunday, July 23, 2017 3:00 pm

Did you know that Frederick Douglass was the most photographed person of the 19th century? Douglass scholar John Stauffer will present some of the 160 known photographs from his new book, Picturing Frederick Douglass. Books will be available for sale and signing. $2 program only or free with Museum admission.

Pie & Ice Cream Social
Sunday, August 13, 2017 1:00–4:00

Who can resist homemade pie and ice cream? Not you! So grab a friend and head to Rokeby for music, chat — and pie! This great tradition features homemade pies of every type — plain or à la mode. Proceeds support the Museum’s work, so have a second piece!

Anti-Slavery Then and Now — Robert Wright
Sunday, September 10, 2017 3:00 pm

Historian Robert Wright is the editor of the book series Slavery Since Emancipation and comes to Rokeby through the Historians Against Slavery speakers’ bureau. In this talk, he will describe contemporary slavery and other forms of trafficked, coerced, and “unfree” labor and explore the various types of enforced labor, its economic impact, who is victimized and why. Come and see what scholar-activists are doing and how you can get involved. $2 program only or free with Museum admission.

Eliza Marsh’s Book of Sentiments — Kevin Thornton
Sunday, September 24, 2017 3:00 pm

Brandon resident Eliza Marsh had an unusual hobby — she collected the autographs of leading abolitionists in the 1840s. Historian Kevin Thornton discovered her project — though her book has disappeared — and will share his research on her life and labor. $2 program only or free with Museum admission.

Jeff Howlett —Tintype ArtistTintype Artist — Jeff Howlett
Sunday, October 8, 2017 10:00 to 5:00

Photographer Jeff Howlett has perfected the art of making tintypes — early photographs made on small rectangles of metal. He’ll be here offering his services and showing folks how it was done in the old days. Come and have your picture made! Tintypes $50 each.

Rare and Unusual Vermont Plants — Robert Popp
Sunday, October 22, 2017 3:00 pm

Botanist Robert Popp tracks and inventories rare and unusual plants for Vermont’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. Species may be rare because they have particular habitat requirements, are subject to habitat loss, are at the edge of their range, or are vulnerable to disturbance or collection. His talk reminds us of the Robinson’s deep interest in natural history. $2 program only or free with Museum admission.

Branch to Spoon: Carving WorkshopCollaboration with the Shelburne Craft School —
Branch to Spoon Carving Workshop

June 3 and September 16, 2017 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Join instructor Robert Palmer for a day of spoon carving at Rokeby Museum using hand tools and traditional Swedish methods. Search for a branch with just the right bend to create the spoon you want to make. Then split the branch in half, draw the desired shape, and coax the spoon from the wood one slice at a time. You will learn to safely and effectively use a variety of tools such as carving knives, crooked knives, gouges, coping saws, and hatchets. Carving a spoon from a branch is a meditation on form and function, and you will leave with a beautiful object that you will cherish for years to come. Register at the Shelburne Craft School website,


Programs supported in part by the Vermont Humanities Council. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the VHC.