Fittingly held in a simple barn building, Vermont’s Museum of Everyday Life is a homegrown collection of items that most people would simply send to the scrapheap. Here they are venerated for their very normalcy in a tongue-in-cheek statement about museum culture.
Yet even as it excoriates the huffy image of traditional museums, the Museum of Everyday Life truly puts the wonder of the mundane on public display for visitors to discover as they wander through the collection. By consciously presenting traditionally un-curious things as though they are a part of a sort of cabinet of curiosities, everything from matchbooks to safety pins to pieces of reclaimed wood become singular pieces of unintentional art. There have been exhibitions surrounding toothbrushes and pencils, along with the ever-present old farm tools and pieces of scrap along the walls.
Visitors to the museum are given free reign to explore the small space with naught but a ramshackle donation box asking for anything in return. The items on display change regularly as new collections of everyday curios come along or smaller finds are added. In an odd way, curious minds are presented with the extraordinary on a regular basis in the modern day, so The Museum of Everyday Life may be presenting one of the rarest collections around.
Know Before You Go
From the SouthTake U.S. I-91 North to Vermont exit 24 and turn North onto VT Rt 122. Follow 122 through the small villages of Wheelock and Sheffield, and continue, past the Bread and Puppet Theater, until Rt 122 terminates at VT RT16. Turn Left (South) onto Rt 16 and drive approx 5 miles until you see a small pond on your right. The Museum is the first structure immediately following the Pond, on the right. From the North:Take U.S. I-91 South to Vermont exit 25 and turn South onto VT Rt 16. Drive through the small village of Glover, past Red Sky Trading and Currier’s Market, and continue about 5.5 miles until you see a small pond on your right. The Museum is the first structure immediately following the Pond, on the right.