For the first time in its 73-year history, Shelburne Museum will not open for summer due to concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, Museum Director Thomas Denenberg announced. All exhibition buildings, the grounds and the Museum Store will remain closed through the spring and summer months.
Exhibitions will be cancelled or postponed. Events and activities, educational programming and rental events will be cancelled or rescheduled. The museum’s administrative offices are also closed, with staff working remotely until public health officials advise it is safe to return to offices.
“The decision to extend the closure of Shelburne Museum was a difficult one. We followed guidance from state and federal health officials. While we weighed that advice with our paramount concern for the safety of our extended Shelburne Museum family—staff, volunteers and visitors—we really saw no other alternative. We also took into account the lead time necessary to bring the museum’s 45-acre campus with 39 buildings and galleries safely back into full operation,” Denenberg said. “We look forward to the day we can get back to doing what we do best—engaging and inspiring through our beautiful and storied collections, buildings and gardens.”
A date has not been scheduled for the Museum to reopen. That decision will be based on ongoing monitoring of the pandemic and recommendations of health officials, Denenberg said.
With the physical campus closed, the museum has ramped up remote outreach designed to share the joy and wonder of Shelburne Museum digitally and provide resources to educators and learners of all ages. The museum’s first online exhibition, Color, Pattern, Whimsy, & Scale, opened on April 18. In addition, the museum’s robust social media content offers viewers behind-the-scenes looks at objects as seen through the eyes of museum conservators, video tours by curators, webinars highlighting exhibitions and activities for families and children.
“There’s no question that the coming months won’t be the same while much anticipated exhibitions, events and visits are on hiatus. While we look forward to the day we once again welcome visitors back onto the museum campus, we invite our friends to connect with us digitally via our social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and to visit us on our website to experience exhibitions,” said Karen Petersen, Stiller Family Foundation director of education and director of visitor experience and learning.
About Shelburne Museum
Founded in 1947 by pioneering folk art collector Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888–1960), Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont, is the largest art and history museum in northern New England and Vermont’s foremost public resource for visual art and material culture. The Museum’s 45-acre campus is comprised of 39 buildings including the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education and Webb Gallery featuring important American paintings by Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Grandma Moses, John Singleton Copley and many more. For more information, please visit shelburnemuseum.org.
Contact: Misuk P. Weaver, Digital Media Manager