by Richard Bernstein, M.D., Rokeby Museum Trustee
“…as Kendi’s awareness grew and as his thinking developed, he realized that the statement, ‘I am not a racist,’ which is meant to absolve the speaker of racist feelings or thoughts, actually expresses a level of denial that he calls ‘the heartbeat of racism.’”
Ibram X. Kendi’s book, How to Be an Anti-Racist, details his journey and his growing awareness of how racism informs his own life and thoughts. Along the way, he has taught himself how to be an anti-racist, and through his book, he speaks of and to himself as much as to the reader.Read More
On February 2, 2021, Rokeby Museum hosted a virtual Black History Month Lecture that explored current efforts to recognize and right missing historical narratives in history. Three panelists joined the conversation to discuss their research and community work to uncover hidden and missing stories in our communities and fight for change to ensure these stories are not lost again.Read More
From mid-May to October, Rokeby Museum is open to the public to tour the historic 90-acre site and view our exhibits, but we recently had a patron ask what we do during the rest of year when visitors are not on site?
Rokeby has the privilege of being a multifaceted site, with historic buildings, a modern education center with exhibit space, and the caretaker of a vast collection of museum objects that represent four generations of the Robinson family. The off-season months provide an opportunity to plan for the next season, including programs and the seasonal exhibit. It also allows us to give special attention to the site and the collections.Read More
Today’s readers will find both enjoyment and discomfort in Rowland Evans Robinson’s writings. Rokeby feels that Vermont poet and R.E.R. editor and enthusiast David Budbill (1940–2016) explores these dichotomies best in his preface to Danvis Tales: Selected Stories by Rowland E. Robinson:
I first read Rowland Robinson in the early 1970s when my friend Hayden Carruth urged Robinson upon me. I fell in love with him immediately, with his elegant and graceful prose, his precise eye for describing the minute details of the natural world, and with his delightful, complex, and real people.Read More
Inspired by Rachael Robinson Elmer (1878–1919) and taught by Courtney Clinton, Rokeby Artist in Residence
Courtney Clinton here, Artist in Residence at Rokeby Museum.
After four great months, my residency is coming to an end this week. Yup, that’s right. This is our last letter! I’m so grateful to Catherine Brooks and the museum for giving me this opportunity. Allison Gregory, Education and Interpretation Fellow, has been an incredible collaborator. She has made sure, despite the border closure, I always have digital access to the museum’s archive!
Together, we have explored not only the lessons of a 19th century drawing course, but also the artistic journey of one of its students, Rachael Robinson Elmer (1878–1919).
Hopefully what has come through with this course is the relationship between engaged observation and the art of drawing. This conception of drawing as a kind of visual research is very different to our modern understanding of art as an expression of self.
With our final lesson, I would like to bridge these two understandings of art and show how we can use the tools that we have developed throughout the course to unlock our creative voice. In this week’s letter, we will explore the production of Rachael’s chef d’oeuvre, her fine art postcard series, Art Lover’s of New York, part of the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, DC. And as an homage we will design our own fine art postcard.Read More