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A Beckoning Country: Art and Objects from the Lake Champlain Valley

April 14 – September 20, 2009
Fleming Museum, University of Vermont

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In celebration of the quadricentennial anniversary of French explorer and cartographer Samuel de Champlain’s travels to the lake that bears his name, the Fleming Museum presents A Beckoning Country: Art and Objects from the Lake Champlain Valley. For thousands of years, Lake Champlain has drawn people to its shores and to the land it nourishes. A Beckoning Country examines the features of the Champlain Valley landscape through the objects and art created from and inspired by them.

Organized around a geological and natural history framework–water, earth, flora, and fauna—the exhibition includes both pre- and post-European contact material, such as stone tools, maps, furniture, textiles, and baskets, as well as paintings and drawings that depict and celebrate the region’s physical landscape.

A Beckoning Country includes contributions from a number of campus repositories as well as community institutions and individuals. Special Collections contributed several works on paper, including a 1632 edition of Samuel de Champlain’s Les voyages de la Nouvelle France occidentale and Lafitau’s 1724 Moeurs des sauvages ameriquains, a boldly colored and decorated map of the northeastern United States and Canada created around 1683, and photographs of the Emporium Logging Company in Danby and the Summit House on Mount Mansfield. Some of these works are described in the essay “Boundaries and Identities” that Director of Special Collections Jeffrey D. Marshall contributed to the exhibition catalog.

Image:  Detail of Burlington Bay circa 1850 by Theodore Hopkins (1828-1889).  Courtesy of the Fleming Museum.

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