Historical research and website:
We are grateful to the staff of the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History for offering us access to the chair and research resources. Eva Garcelon-Hart, Archivist, generously guided our research and helped us access many of the primary sources so crucial to the project.
Middlebury College Librarian Amy Frazier offered wonderful insights on secondary research resources and databases for enhancing our research beyond the Sheldon Archives.
Middlebury College Senior Curricular Innovation Strategist Joe Antonioli taught us WordPress and helped us think about how to share our research with a broader public with the help of new technologies.
Building a 2018 Relic Chair:
The Chipstone Foundation made it possible for us to build a 2018 version of Henry Sheldon’s chair and acted as important interlocutors and collaborators, helping us to consider the significance of thinking about history through objects and material practices.
Expert furniture maker and consummate craftsman Timothy Clark demonstrated his techniques to us, teaching us about his practice and the use of tools such as the shaving horse and the lathe. He closely studied Sheldon’s original chair and built a gorgeous copy of this eclectic chair for us to populate with our own “relics.”
Middlebury College Art Studio Technician and artist Colin C. Boyd patiently taught us how to turn wood and make our own spindles. He brainstormed with us about how we might be able to transform the objects we collected into spindles and incorporate them into the chair, guiding us to practical solutions for creating structurally-sound, aesthetically-pleasing, and thoughtful works that would be in keeping with Sheldon’s original vision and our own historical moment.
Artist Dario Robleto spoke with us about what it might mean to alter objects, possibilities of material and emotional histories, and practices of empathy.
Bill Beaney (Head Coach, Men’s Golf, and former Men’s Hockey Coach, Middlebury College), Governor Jim Douglas and David Schutz (Vermont State Curator), Adam Erby (Associate Curator, George Washington’s Mount Vernon), Wayne Hall (Supervisor, Carpenters, Painters, & Locksmiths, Middlebury College), Jessica Horton (Assistant Professor, University of Delaware) and Ann Horton (Mendocino County, CA), Bob Hunt (Curator, Old Stone House Museum), and Laurie Patton (President, Middlebury College) generously donated items for inclusion in our 2018 Relic Chair.
We are also grateful to Middlebury College’s Program in American Studies and especially to the Spiegel Family Fund for their support of the project.