Rokeby Museum is open daily 10–5 from mid-May to late October and is currently closed for the season. Below is our 2017 program and event schedule.
Opening Day: Sunday, May 21, 3:00
Clemmons Family Farm
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.
Sunday, June 18, 3:00 pm
Black Lives Matter Forum
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.
Sunday, July 2, 3:00 pm
What to the Negro is the 4th of July?
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.
Sunday, July 9
Exhibit Opening – Yours in the Cause: Faces of American Abolition
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.
Sunday, July 23, 3:00 pm
Picturing Frederick Douglass – John Stauffer
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.
Sunday, August 13, 1:00-4:00
Pie & Ice Cream Social
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 a la mode. Proceeds support the Museum’s work, so have a second piece!
Sunday, September 10, 3:00 pm
Boycotting Slavery Then and Now – Carol Faulkner
Historian Carol Faulkner has written extensively about women abolitionists and comes to Rokeby through the Historians Against Slavery speakers’ bureau. She will remind us of the historical boycott of slave-made goods (the Robinsons participated) and compare it with contemporary efforts. $2 program only or free with Museum admission.
Sunday, September 24, 3:00 pm
Eliza Marsh’s Book of Sentiments – Kevin Thornton
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.
Sunday, October 8, 10:00 to 5:00
Tintype Artist – Jeff Howlett
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.
Sunday, October 22, 3:00 pm
Rare and Unusual Vermont Plants – Robert Popp
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.
June 3 and September 10, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Collaboration with the Shelburne Craft School – Branch to Spoon Carving Workshop
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, www.theshelburnecraftschool.org