Warren Kimble painting to benefit Henry Sheldon Museum
MIDDLEBURY — Internationally known Vermont artist Warren Kimble donated his painting “Barn on the Hill” to the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History in Middlebury, to be raffled to benefit the museum’s exhibit, education and archive programs. The painting reflects the Vermont landscape and vernacular architecture so prevalent in Kimble’s folk art paintings. Valued at $8,000, the painting sparked excitement; over 700 raffle tickets were sold over a period of several months, bringing raffle sale proceeds of $6,000 to the museum.
On the day of the drawing, Dec. 15, the local Knights of Columbus chapter of St. Mary’s Church lent the Sheldon a large raffle drum, and Kimble, after many turns of the drum to mix the 700 tickets, closed his eyes and drew the ticket of the lucky winner: Patti Marrinan of Edina, Minn., who frequently visits the family’s summer home in West Addison.
The Henry Sheldon Museum, chartered in 1882, is the nation’s oldest community history museum. Its years of service as an art museum and archaeological and historical society have benefited from community support, evidenced most recently by the Kimble’s gift and the many purchasers of the raffle tickets. Kimble further lent his support as one of the 12 artists who have decorated miniature Christmas trees, his adorned with a series of historic, colorful Pez candy dispensers.
Children’s book author Ashley Wolff, recently profiled in the Addison Independent, created a tree decked with miniature book covers, each titled with a single letter, which in sequence spell “Merry Christmas & Happy New Year,” while book artist Sarah Pope crafted handmade ornaments reminiscent of hot air balloons from recycled book pages encircled by garlands of vintage buttons and beads.
Fly fisherman Michael Manley’s passion is reflected in “If Trees Could Talk,” which featured his handmade fishing flies, 15 quotations beloved of fly fishermen, barrel swivel snaps, orange strike indicators, a 2-weight fly line birds nest tree topper and a cotton fishing-net tree skirt. Fishing enthusiasts will also respond to the tree containing 20 vibrant fishing lures by the talented staff of Advertisers Workshop.
For wordsmiths, Sarah Stahl combined Scrabble letter ornaments spelling meaningful seasonal words — peace, joy, wish, hoho, Noel, pax and love — atop a Scrabble board. Middlebury artist Nancie Dunn, owner of Sweet Cecily, decorated her tree with miniature felt animals from her collection, while Greg Alexander and Sammy Barnes of Otter Creek Kitchenware & Electronics bedecked their tree with miniature kitchen utensils. Bright red cardinals highlight Bobbie Brooker’s tree; red and silver berry garlands encircled Adèle Connors’ tree; a baby’s knitted hat, yarns, and teething necklaces adorn the tree by Cacklin’ Hens; and snowflake cutouts accompanied by the paperback edition of “Snowflake Bentley” embellish the tree decorated by the Vermont Book Shop.
The Henry Sheldon Museum’s community collections and archives are vigorously supported by volunteer artists of the area and the eager visitors who purchase raffle tickets in hopes of returning home with treasured gifts. Museum officials thank and applaud the artists and the museums many donors.
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