Sheldon Museum

MIDDLEBURY — On Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m., Associate Champlain College Professor Stephen Wehmeyer will present “By Seen and Unseen Hands: Spirit Artists and their Art in the 21st Century,” a talk to be held at the Sheldon Museum in Middlebury. Since the earliest days of its history, the American Spiritualist movement has been closely tied to the visual arts.  Renowned mediums like the Bangs Sisters and the Campbell Brothers trafficked in “precipitated” paintings — artwork purportedly produced by spirit hands — while the emergent technology of photography offered believers (and the...

MIDDLEBURY — Bill Schubart, author, journalist, and VPR commentator, is the keynote speaker for the Annual Dinner and Meeting of the Henry Sheldon Museum on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Schubart will present a talk entitled “The Role of Nonprofit Cultural Organizations in Vermont.” Schubart has lived with his family in Vermont since 1947 and resides today in Hinesburg with his wife Kate. He writes about Vermont in fiction, humor and opinion pieces. Bill invites everyone to discover Vermont through books.  Known by many as a VPR commentator, he has also served on numerous nonprofit boards supporting the...

SOLOMON W. JEWETT AND apparitions, c. 1885. Collection of Henry Sheldon Museum.
MIDDLEBURY — On Wednesday, Oct. 30, the Sheldon Museum will host Spooky Night at the Museum, an evening of pre-Halloween entertainment in conjunction with the Sheldon’s current exhibit “Conjuring the Dead: Spirit Art in the Age of Radical Reform.” Stop by for an evening of pre-Halloween fun from 6-9 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Spooky Night at the Museum will offer a range of spirit-inspired activities. Curious what the future has in store? Penelope Wade and Sass Carey will provide tarot card, fortune telling, and palm readings throughout the evening. Did you ever have a...
MIDDLEBURY — The Sheldon Museum presents its next talk on spiritualism, “The Devil’s Cabinet: The Eddy Family of Spirit Mediums,” on Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. Jason Smiley, a graduate of Champlain College and full-time Compliance Coordinator for, has been studying the Eddy family of Chittenden, Vt. During the mid to late 1800s they became world-renowned as spirit mediums with the alleged ability of generating full-bodied spirit manifestations or “materializations” of the departed. People traveled from all over the world to Chittenden to witness these phenomena for themselves. Some came...

NOVELIST AND STORYTELLER Joseph Citro will explore the history of American spiritualism as practiced in Vermont at a talk on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m., at the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury.
MIDDLEBURY — Joseph A. Citro, novelist and storyteller, will present “Spirited Vermont — Green Mountain Mediums, Mystics, and Miracle Workers” at the Sheldon Museum on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. Do spirits live? Are the dead among us? Join Citro as he explores the history of American spiritualism as practiced in Vermont. Via pictures and stories Citro will introduce some of the state’s most colorful practitioners while being transported back to that magical time when the dead spoke, the deceased appeared, and the infinite seemed close enough to touch! Citro is well known as a collector of...

JOHN BROWN'S FARMSTEAD, North Elba, NY, carved on tree fungus, 1887. Collection of Henry Sheldon Museum.
MIDDLEBURY — Can a simple tree fungus be a historical document? On Oct. 16, at 1 p.m., as part of the Sheldon’s monthly exhibit “Hidden Treasure Series,” Archivist Eva Garcelon-Hart and Middlebury College Professor Bill Hart will discuss a unique rendering of the John Brown farmstead in North Elba, N.Y., on a 19th century tree fungus. The fungus along with several stereographic photographs depicting the Brown cemetery grounds were donated to the Sheldon Museum in 1891 and will be on display through the month of October. The carving and the photographs illuminate unexpected chapters of...

THIS “SPIRIT PHOTO” from 1886 shows Weybridge “mesmeric physician” Soloman W. Jewett surrounded by apparitions. This photo is part of a Sheldon Museum exhibit titled “Conjuring the Dead: Spirit Art in the Age of Radical Reform.” Photo courtesy Sheldon Museum
MIDDLEBURY — Solomon Jewett (1808-94) of Weybridge kept a very impressive guest list. Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Prince Albert of England. The Virgin Mary. Oh, and since they were all deceased, Jewett didn’t even need to open his door; as spirits, they all drifted in through the walls and hovered above his head. And he had the photos to prove it. Jewett’s “spirit photos” and other otherworldly keepsakes are now on display at Middlebury’s Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History. They’re part of an exhibit titled, “Conjuring the Dead: Spirit Art in the Age of Radical...

FASHION MODEL GABRIELLE as she appeared in a newspaper article in the 1960s. Photo courtesy of the Henry Sheldon Museum
MIDDLEBURY — On Saturday, Sept. 14, at noon, Gabriella Karsch will talk about the early 1950s Girl Scout uniform she wore as a young girl (born Sally Anita Smith) in Middlebury. She recently donated the uniform to the Sheldon Museum’s vintage clothing collection. Gabriella will tell stories from her time as a Girl Scout in Middlebury and explain how Girl Scouts made an impact on her life.  She will share highlights of her inspiring and varied careers — as a high fashion model (Gabrielle) in New York City and Los Angeles in the 1960s and serving in the USO in the 1960s and ’70s entertaining...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100