Our Town: Love, Joy, Sadness, and Baseball — 100 Years of Photography from the Sheldon Museum

March 20, 2018 – July 8, 2018
Middlebury College Baseball Team, ca. 1896

Middlebury College Baseball Team, ca. 1896

While still an award-winning photographer with the National Geographic, James Pease Blair summered in Middlebury, Vermont. On his retirement, Jim Blair and his wife Elise settled in Vermont year-round.  Jim became entranced by the singular photography collection found in the Research Center of the Henry Sheldon Museum, where he found exceptional images that traced the citizens, landscapes, and townscapes of Addison County and the Lake Champlain region.

Collaborating with Sheldon Museum Archivist Eva Garcelon-Hart, he has chosen three dozen remarkable photographs that will be displayed in the exhibit Our Town: Love, Joy, Sadness, and Baseball — 100 Years of Photography from the Sheldon Museum from March 20, 2018 through July 08, 2018.  His choices reflect a photographer’s unique eye, developed in his early training from celebrated American photographers Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind and while studying for a Bachelor of Science degree in photography at the Institute of Design of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.  Later during his long career at the National Geographic he traveled the world, advancing his art, resulting in further photographic achievements.


Long-Point Lake Champlain, George Lathrop, 1938

The exhibit features single and group portraits of Vermonters – both the celebrated and the ordinary citizen, village scenes capturing disasters and daily life, landscapes of Vermont’s treasured mountains and lakes.  Stunning aerial landscape photographs were taken by George N. Lathrop (1900 – 1983), who owned or managed sporting goods stores in Bristol and at New Haven Junction.  A self-taught photographer, he learned to fly in the 1920s and helped establish the Bristol airport in the early 1930s.  He flew with the left side door of his plane removed, using a Fairchild F- 8 camera with a large Zeiss lens for his aerial shots, to include many panoramic views of Lake Champlain.

100 years of life in the Middlebury region are highlighted in the selections chosen by Jim Blair. Supplementing the exhibit, will be clothing from the Sheldon Museum’s vintage apparel collection that corresponds to the attire featured in the photographs.