Rokeby Museum presents a nationally significant Underground Railroad story tucked inside a quintessential Vermont experience. A major exhibit — Free & Safe: The Underground Railroad in Vermont — brings the Underground Railroad vividly to life. Focused on Simon and Jesse, two fugitives from slavery who found shelter here in the 1830s, the exhibit traces their stories from slavery to freedom, introduces the abolitionist Robinson family who called Rokeby home, and explores the turbulent decades leading up to the Civil War. The historic house — fully furnished with 200 years of domestic belongings — provides an intimate glimpse into the family’s life through four generations. Once a thriving Merino sheep farm, Rokeby retains nine historic farm buildings filled with agricultural artifacts. Acres of pastoral landscape dotted with old wells, stone walls, and historic orchards invite a leisurely stroll or a hike up the trail. Picnic tables accommodate lunch outdoors.
In addition to our permanent exhibit, Free & Safe, our 2021 season exhibit will be open. A Modern Artist: The Commercial Art of Rachael Robinson Elmer explores the life and career of fourth generation Rachael Robinson. Exhibiting artistic talent at an early age, she was at first trained by her parents and then, as a teenager, enrolled in a correspondence course to further her skills. She later studied at Goddard College and the Art Students League of New York. During that time she began her career as an illustrator, producing drawings for her father’s books and works for periodicals such as Forest and Stream and The Youth Companion. From the turn of the twentieth century until her death in 1919, Rachael built a career producing commercial art for major publishers across the United States. From children’s books and advertisements to her popular postcard series, Rachael Robinson Elmer was a modern artist navigating the expanding profession of commercial art.
Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.