Art of New England Silhouettes’ talk at Sheldon

MIDDLEBURY —On  Wednesday, July 13, at noon, the Henry Sheldon Museum and its alliance partner Historic New England present a talk by HNE Associate Curator Laura Johnson titled Profiles, Scissortypes, and Blockheads: The Art of New England Silhouettes. The talk will go along with an afternoon of silhouette portrait cutting by Carolyn Guest.
 A silhouette is a likeness of a person, bust or full body, cut from paper. Tucked in the pages of books, mounted over mantles, even set into jewelry, silhouettes offered Americans an affordable way to exchange and keep images of one another. From delicately painted shadows on pale porcelain to entire scenes cut by holding the scissors in one’s toes, New England’s silhouettes and their artists have a long and fascinating history. In her talk, Johnson will introduce the complex past of silhouettes.
 The talk is offered in conjunction with the Sheldon’s current exhibit, Addison County in Profile: Silhouette Portraits from the Sheldon Archives, and is the first in a Speaker Series co-sponsored by and the Henry Sheldon Museum and Historic New England. The exhibit highlights the Sheldon’s rarely displayed silhouettes of early residents of Addison County spanning over a century from 1800s to 1900s. It is on view through September 4. The fee for the talk is free for Henry Sheldon Museum members and Historic New England members; $5for non-members.
Following the talk, silhouette artist Carolyn Guest will cut silhouette portraits on paper with scissors, both bust ($25) and full figure ($55). The sessions will take place between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. There will be 15-minute time slots per silhouette, and reservations and advance payments are required. Those interested in scheduling a silhouette session or obtaining more information may call the Sheldon at 802-388-2117. 
The Henry Sheldon Museum is located at One Park Street in downtown Middlebury across from the Ilsley Library. Museum hours: Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sun. (May 29-mid-Oct 16) 1-5 p.m.; Research Center hours: Thurs. and Fri. 1-5 p.m. or by appointment. Admission to the Museum is $5 Adults; $3 Youth (6-18); $4.50 Seniors; $12 Family; $5 Research Center.

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