Shelburne Museum Disengages from Architect David Adjaye 


Shelburne Museum Disengages from Architect David Adjaye 

Adjaye Associates Will Not Design Perry Center for Native American Art

Shelburne, VT (July 13, 2023) – In light of serious allegations of misconduct leveled against architect David Adjaye, Shelburne Museum will no longer be engaging him or his firm, Adjaye Associates, as design architect of a building planned to house the Museum’s collection of Native American art. 

The accusations were reported in the media earlier this month prompting Adjaye to voluntarily withdraw from many of the firm’s projects and to resign from several advisory positions. 

“The recent allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against David Adjaye, and his admission of inappropriate behavior, are incompatible with our mission and values, which left the museum with no alternative but to immediately sever ties with the architect and his firm,” said Thomas Denenberg, John Wilmerding Director and CEO of Shelburne Museum. “We remain committed to moving forward with the project and the many other partners and collaborators who have been involved since its conceptualization.”

In May, Shelburne Museum announced the Perry Center for Native American Art, part of a major initiative that includes stewardship of an important collection of Native American art and construction of a building and integrated landscape collaboratively designed to create a national resource for the study and care of Indigenous art. 

The Perry Center for Native American Art is planned to be a highly sustainable pavilion designed to support the culturally appropriate interpretation and care of Indigenous material culture. Designed and realized through a rigorous process in partnership with Indigenous voices, the Perry Center will serve as a welcoming space for Tribal members and scholars to study and engage with the collection and will reimagine the museum experience for all visitors including the local community, schoolchildren and tourists. 

About Shelburne Museum: Shelburne Museum is the largest art and history museum in northern New England and Vermont’s foremost public resource for programming in the arts and humanities. Incorporated in 1947, the museum comprises 39 buildings and 22 gardens on a 45-acre campus. The museum stewards a collection of more than 100,000 objects in unique and unparalleled installations of American art and material culture. Programming includes exhibitions and educational programs designed to creatively engage a broad spectrum of audiences and spark conversation and contemplation.

Shelburne Museum attracts a multigenerational audience from the region with significant visitation from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Quebec. The museum holds a special responsibility for serving the Vermont community. Approximately 8,000 students from 100 Vermont schools visit annually, comprising 10 percent of the state’s student population. 

Shelburne Museum’s trailblazing founder Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888–1960) repeatedly called for expanding scholarly and popular understanding of American material life as one of the principal collectors who defined the field in the decades that bracketed World War II. A critical example of this impulse is Webb’s deep interest in, and engagement with, Indigenous art and culture, an aspect of Shelburne Museum’s program incompletely realized in her lifetime and of singular importance to the institution today.

For media inquiries, please contact: 

Leslie Wright
Director of Advancement
Shelburne Museum

Kristen Levesque
Kristen Levesque Public Relations

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