Rokeby Museum is open daily 10–5 from mid-May to late October and is currently closed for the season. Below is our 2016 program and event schedule.
Opening Day: Sunday, May 22, 3:00
In Plain Sight: Black Faces, White Spaces & Other Stories — Carolyn Finney
Scholar-activist Carolyn Finney will share her research on why African Americans are underrepresented in outdoor recreation, nature, and the environmental movement. Her thought-provoking book, Black Faces, White Spaces, bridges environmental history, cultural and race studies to argue that the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial violence have shaped our understanding of the “great outdoors” and who should and can have access to it. Carolyn Finney teaches geography at the University of Kentucky. $2 program only or free with Museum admission.
Sunday, July 3 3:00
What to the Negro is the 4th of July?
Join us to help 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 reading sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council. Free.
Sunday, July 10 3:00
Exhibit Opening & Gallery Talk,
Quaker Made: Vermont Furniture, 1820–1835
Quaker Made: Vermont Furniture, 1820–1835 presents a unique collection of furniture crafted by Quaker cabinetmaker Stephen Foster Stevens, along with his account books, photographs, and other personal items. Born to Quaker parents and trained by another Friend, Stevens turned out ordinary and utilitarian pieces. His work, however, was marked by great talent and expert workmanship, suggesting that he could have pursued a more lucrative career making fine furniture elsewhere. Quaker Made explores how Stevens’s life as a Quaker influenced the furniture he produced. Friends lived under the testimony of simplicity at this time and were expected to remain “plain” in their speech, clothing, furniture, and deportment. The exhibit presents an intimate look into the meaning of plainness for Friends.
Sunday, July 31, 3:00
Quakers and Plainness: Is there a Quaker aesthetic? — Anne Verplanck, Ph.D.
Many people assume that Quakers preferred plain things, whether buildings, quilts, portraits, or furniture. This talk will address how Quakers in places as diverse as rural Vermont and urban Philadelphia used possessions to express their beliefs and how their choice and use of possessions varied with time, place, age, and devoutness. Anne Verplanck teaches American Studies at Penn State and is the co-editor of Quaker Aesthetics. $2 program only or free with Museum admission.
Sunday, August 14, 1:00-4:00
Pie & Ice Cream Social
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 — served in the Museum’s shady back yard. Proceeds support the Museum’s work, so have a second piece!.
Saturday, September 10, 10:00–4:00
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 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.
Sunday, September 11, 3:00
Friends and their Meetinghouses: Deciphering Paradoxical Attitudes — Catherine Lavoie
Catherine Lavoie examines Quakers’ paradoxical attitudes toward their meetinghouses, using the 154 structures in the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting as a case study. Friends lovingly maintain their meetinghouses at the same time they deny their historic importance. We’ll explore how the “testimony of simplicity” leads Friends to preserve the old buildings rather than build new ones. Ms. Lavoie directs the Historic American Building Survey at the National Park Service. $2 program only or free with Museum admission.
Sunday, September 25, 3:00
Singularities of Dress: Quakers and their Clothing in the 19th Century — Erin Eisenbarth
For many of us, the word “Quaker” conjures up the man with the hat on the oatmeal box. Erin Eisenbarth will explore how Quakers really looked in the 19th century, using the clothing worn by one Delaware Valley family. To what degree did their “plain” clothing separate Friends from their “worldly” neighbors? She adds a new dimension to the idea of the Quaker plain aesthetic. Ms. Eisenbarth is a PhD student at the Bard Graduate Center. $2 program only or free with Museum admission.
Sunday, October 9, 3:00
Up Country Vermont Furniture — Duane Merrill
Vermont’s own auctioneer and collector Duane Merrill has probably seen, handled, assessed, and sold more Vermont furniture than anyone. Join us for a stroll through three decades of finds, highs and lows, gems and surprises in the Vermont antiques trade. He’ll tell us about Nathan Burnell, a mid-19th century cabinetmaker from Milton, Vermont. Duane Merrill & Company has auctioned art and antiques for more than 30 years. $2 program only or free with Museum admission.
Sunday, October 23, 3:00
Western Abenaki Artifacts at Rokeby — Fred Wiseman
Rowland E. Robinson had friends among the Abenaki who camped, hunted, and fished along the shores of Lake Champlain. He collected baskets, snowshoes, and other items, some of which are unique in New England. Frederick Wiseman will share his research into this little-known archaeological and ethnographic collection, featuring some surprising pieces. Professor Wiseman directs the Wobanakik Heritage Center in Swanton, Vermont. $2 program only or free with Museum admission.