Rokeby Museum

FERRISBURGH — Rokeby Museum will reopen to the public on May 9 and remain open for the 2021 season until October 24, 2021. Starting May 9, Rokeby Museum’s permanent exhibit “Free & Safe,” interpretive trail, and the agricultural outbuildings will be open free for members or with paid admission for non-members. Opening May 30, the Museum’s 2021 Seasonal Exhibit, “A Modern Artist: The Commercial Art of Rachael Robinson Elmer” will open to the public. This exhibit explores Rachael Robinson Elmer as a modern artist navigating the expanding profession of commercial artistry in the early 20th...
FERRISBURGH — Rokeby Museum has announced that PC Construction has stepped up as the Museum’s 2021 Preservation Sponsor. Under the partnership, the employee-owned construction firm will complete approximately $20,000 worth of preservation work on the over 200-year-old structures on the site, addressing some urgent needs the Museum had not secured funding to accomplish. The high-priority projects will make buildings safer and more accessible by adding handrails and replacing deteriorated porches. Additional work includes structural repairs for the grainery, and removal and replacement of 1815...

NEW ROKEBY MUSEUM Director Lindsay Houpt-Varner took over for Catherine Brooks on Sept. 21. Thanks to a generous anonymous donation, Houpt-Varner will be the Ferrisburgh historic site’s first full-time director. Brooks, who leaves after a planned three-year tenure, will stay on through October to help with the transition. Photo courtesy of Rokeby
FERRISBURGH — The new director of Ferrisburgh historic site Rokeby Museum earned degrees in History and Government & Political Affairs at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, and then a PhD at Durham University in the U.K. Maybe just as importantly Lindsay Houpt-Varner said she has a passion for history first developed as a youngster. Houpt-Varner, a 34-year-old native of Carlisle, Penn., said her family helped her catch a history bug that teachers further nurtured. “Whenever we would go on vacations we would go to museums, and we would travel around the Eastern Seaboard and visit...
Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh will host notable Vermont historians on Sept. 20, at 4 p.m. to present a double-lecture program “Exposing the Challenges: A Closer Look at Women’s Suffrage.” The event will take place outdoors with safe seating for 50; in the case of rain, the event will be held indoors for 25 people in-person with video recording available the next day. Reservations can be made by calling (802) 877-3406, or emailing admin@rokeby.org. “Social and political movements are complex beasts, to say the very least,” said museum director Catherine Brooks. “During the decades-long struggle...
A number of years ago, several literary-minded beekeepers got together to discuss how they might write the history of beekeeping in Vermont. Fast forward to 2020, and “The Land of Milk & Honey: A History of Beekeeping in Vermont” is now available. “Land of Milk and Honey” co-author and experienced beekeeper Ross Conrad will speak about this fascinating history at Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 3 p.m., outdoors (or indoors with social distancing and masks required.) Conrad will present an overview of the history of Vermont beekeeping with a special emphasis on Addison...
FERRISBURGH — Two Ferrisburgh institutions, Rokeby Museum and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, were among the 22 organizations in Vermont, New York and Quebec to receive grants from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP). The grants are given to organizations that promote and protect Champlain Valley history. Smuggling, bootlegging and moonshining are among the many stories of the Champlain Valley’s past that will be highlighted by the 22 new projects. The grants will support work to showcase local history, conserve museum collections and support internships in museums...
At Rokeby Museum, where I am a trustee, we have embarked on the challenge of adding advocacy for social and racial justice to our mission. In light of renewed efforts to disrupt and dispel white supremacy after the murder of George Floyd, I have been thinking about what this means. Much of my reading has been helpful, but nothing so much as the words of Bettina Love in an interview just over a year ago. A professor of education at the University of Georgia, Dr. Love’s writing, research, teaching, and activism meet at the intersection of race, education, abolition. In a 2019 interview, she...

STUDY, SELFIE, GRAPHITE on paper, Courtney Clinton. Courtesy of Rokeby Museum
FERRISBURGH — What does the age of social distancing look like for visual artists? Musicians are live streaming, authors are tweeting and Montreal artist Courtney Clinton is currently navigating a remote arts residency with the Rokeby Museum. As she dives into the archives of a young artist’s 19th-century correspondence course, Clinton is producing her own modern-day correspondence class, which will be made available to the public July 27-Oct. 5. While remote education is a hot topic in our current pandemic context, this project looks at a history of remote arts education to see how art...
“A common danger unites even the bitterest of enemies,” said the philosopher Aristotle. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fault lines that separate people of color and whites, and it continues to shine a light on the terrible effect that white supremacy and structural racism have had historically in America. COVID emerges, and with it, disparities Although the first known case in the U.S. was Jan. 20, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t make it into national news until early February. Several weeks later, on March 27, five U.S. lawmakers (Sens. Harris, Brooker, Warren, Pressley, and...

CATHERINE WOOD BROOKS
FERRISBURGH — Rokeby Museum has announced the retirement of director Catherine Wood Brooks, who accepted a three-year term in 2017. “It has been an incredible honor to serve as director,” Brooks says. “Rokeby’s historical resources are vast. I have thoroughly enjoyed working to share Rokeby’s stories with an ever- widening audience.” Under Brooks’ leadership, the museum has experienced growth in attendance, income and giving. “Catherine’s creative and energetic touch has resulted in new programs, new collaborations and a heightened awareness of Rokeby as a dynamic, relevant organization it...

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Addison County Independent