Middlebury College Museum of Art

Collection Highlights

The Middlebury College Museum of Art’s long anticipated Handbook publication, which is due to be released in the spring of 2021, is a nexus of entries exploring more than 200 of the most important artworks in the Museum’s permanent collection. The Handbook’s entries are authored by students, alumni, faculty, curators, and other contributors, illuminating the varied collection with a range of voices. The growing list of Collection Highlights found here are features from the book, using an online format to picture the works in even greater detail.

James Hope, A Marble Quarry, 1851

May 25, 2021
At the time James Hope painted this view of Sheldon’s and Slason’s Marble Quarry, the marble business was poised to become one of Vermont’s leading industries. America’s first commercial marble quarry opened thirty miles to the south in Dorset, Vermont, in 1785. By 1890 Vermont contributed 62 percent of the nation’s marble production.

The Empty Wineglass, by Issack Koedijk

March 15, 2021
Genre scenes, commonly known as pictures of everyday life, like this interior of an inn, became popular in the decades after creation of the Dutch republic in 1609. They particularly appealed to an elite class of wealthy citizens who read moralizing messages into them.

Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey

January 26, 2021
Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey learned about daguerreotypy immediately after its invention in 1839 and soon mastered the new medium. In 1842 he set out on a three-year photographic expedition to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, producing over nine hundred daguerreotypes of landscapes, portraits, and architectural structures old and new.

House of Fabergé

December 15, 2020
This collection of Fabergé objects offers a window into a vanished world of opulence and grandeur. They once belonged to Nancy Wynkoop, a direct descendant of the Romanov family. Gifted to Middlebury College in 1994, they demonstrate both the grandiose claims of the Romanov autocracy and a personal expression of whimsy and elegance.

Vilaval Ragini, from a Ragamala Series

November 2, 2020
This miniature painting from the former Rajput court of Kota once belonged to a ragamala (“garland of musical modes”) album, whose paintings each depict a particular theme and its accompanying mood. Ragas are musical compositions attuned to specific seasons and times of day, and they are grouped into complex families of male ragas and female raginis.

Rokeghem Hours

October 6, 2020
This richly illuminated late-medieval prayer bookcalled the Rokeghem Hours, is named for the family for whom is was originally made, the van Rokeghem, who owned lands outside of Bruges, in present-day Belgium. It was created for one of the members of that family—likely for one of the women—by a group of Bruges illuminators called the “Masters of Raphael de Mercatellis.”