Rokeby wins top award for its book

FERRISBURGH — The New England Museum Association has awarded Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh first place for Books in its annual publications competition. The winning title — “Farming & Feasting with the Robinsons — pairs the work of a contemporary food writer with the work of an artist who died more than 100 years ago.
Four generations of the Robinson family farmed at Rokeby, their home now operated as a museum. “Farming & Feasting” author Jesse Natha checks in with the Robinsons each season to see what’s on their minds, on their plates, and on their chore lists. Natha pulls from the museum’s rich collection of letters, diaries, photographs and household accounts to explore the family’s ways of farming, preserving and eating more than a century ago.
Artist Rowland Evans Robinson was born at Rokeby in 1833 and died there in 1900. Depicting the many mundane chores Vermont farmers shouldered day in and day out, Robinson left an intimate record of a vanished way of life. Artistically, the pictures may seem insignificant at first glance — they are small and drawn in pencil — but they reward the viewer who takes the time for a closer look. Robinson’s skill with a pencil is sometimes astounding, and the drawings are often charming, belying the artist’s unmistakable warmth and affection.
“Farming & Feasting” served as an exhibition catalog for the museum’s 2015 exhibit, “The Farm: Drawings of Rowland Evans Robinson, 1850-1880,” which is currently on view at Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock until the end of June.
The competition included 201 entries from 63 museums in 11 categories. “Farming & Feasting” is available at some area bookstores and at Rokeby Museum for $15.
For more information, contact Jane Williamson at [email protected] and 802-877-3406.

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