The Henry Sheldon Museum presents the online exhibit “Drawing on the Past” by Miriam Adams. The Sheldon’s website includes a virtual tour of the exhibit with Miriam Adams and Bill Brooks, Executive Director of the Sheldon. All drawings in the exhibit are featured online. Through the juxtaposition of natural and man-made objects, Miriam Adams creates images of striking intimacy. Her graphite and watercolor drawings on paper depict a variety of everyday domestic objects: scissors, tools, timepieces, sewing materials, hand fans, clothing, and ribbons. Adams places these household items in conversation with objects from nature—including flowers, feathers, fruit, leaves, and stones. Drawings of her father’s tools, of garments sewn by her mother, of a wedding fan that belonged to her husband’s grandmother are matched with more ephemeral items to suggest family relationships and insights. In addition, yarns and needles used in knitting challenge the viewer by their oft double meanings. Are needles and pin cushions merely utilitarian or do they warrant deeper interpretations?

Miriam Adams received a B.A. in Art History from Barnard College in New York City, where she took studio courses at Columbia University. She has been working as an artist ever since and her work has been exhibited extensively in the Northeast, particularly in New York and Vermont, in many public and private collections. She works primarily in graphite and watercolor on paper.

The Henry Sheldon Museum is pleased to present this exhibition as part of 2020 Vision: Reflecting on a World-Changing Year, a statewide initiative of the Vermont Curators Group.

Miriam Adams’ drawings are available for purchase through the Sheldon Museum. Please contact Executive Director Bill Brooks at The Sheldon Museum hopes to open by the end of the year, should COVID-19 restrictions allow, and Drawing on the Past will be available to view in-person at that time. The Sheldon Museum is located at One Park Street in downtown Middlebury across from the Ilsley Library. The Museum, Research Center, and Museum Store are temporarily closed in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions. For more information and reopening updates, visit