Shelburne Museum offers American painting symposium

Johannes Adam Simon Oertel, “Country Connoisseurs,” 1855. Oil on canvas, 36 x 42 1/8 in. Collection of Shelburne Museum, museum purchase, from the collection of Maxim Karolik, 1961-186.3.
Johannes Adam Simon Oertel, “Country Connoisseurs,” 1855. Oil on canvas, 36 x 42 1/8 in. Collection of Shelburne Museum, museum purchase, from the collection of Maxim Karolik, 1961-186.3.

Vermont’s world-renowned Shelburne Museum will highlight its acclaimed collection of American paintings with a special, full-day symposium on Saturday, Sept. 20 including tours of the museum’s installation of American paintings (Painting A Nation: American Art at Shelburne Museum), discussions, and lectures. Noted scholars participating in the day’s discussions and gallery tours include Carol Troyen, the Kristin and Roger Servison Curator Emerita of American Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; independent art historian Marc Simpson;  Ellery Foutch, assistant professor of American Studies at Middlebury College; and Shelburne Museum director Thomas Denenberg.
“We are thrilled to present Shelburne Museum’s rich collection of American paintings for the first time in over a decade,” said Denenberg. “The collection contains well-known masterpieces and more than a few surprises that reveal much about the development of our national visual culture. Our fall symposium will be the perfect opportunity to learn together from three of the foremost voices in American art.”
American paintings were the last collection assembled by Shelburne Museum founder Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888-1960) in the late 1950s. Relying on her own keen eye and assisted by leading figures in museums and galleries, Mrs. Webb purchased works by Copley, Cole, Durand, Homer, Prior, Heade, Bierstadt, Lane, Johnson, Cassatt, Grandma Moses, and Andrew Wyeth, among many others. In the years following her death, the collection grew to number over 500 works. Shelburne Museum is the only museum in our region to hold American paintings, with particular strengths in New England landscapes and portraiture.
In May 2014 the museum reopened its Webb Gallery after months of renovation with “Painting a Nation: American Art at Shelburne Museum” to explore the creation of this canonical gathering of paintings within an institution better known as a center of American folk art. This well-received installation features more than 75 works.
“The American Eye” will focus attention on American artists, their artistic inspirations and the importance of American art in the shaping of a national identity.
Symposium tickets are $75 or $65 for museum members. For more information or to register, contact (802) 985-3346 x3381 or symposia@shelburnemuseum.org.
Please visit www.shelburnemuseum.org for more information.