An Ongoing Study of the Shelburne Museum by the Students of Saint Michaels College
Buildings Topics Collections

The Electra Havemeyer Webb Memorial Building   

The Influences Behind the Shelburne Museum


The Electra Havmeyer Webb Memorial Building

Electra Havemeyer Webb

Louisine Elder Havemeyer

Mary Cassatt

Harry Havmeyer

J. Watson Webb



The elegant Electra Havemeyer Webb memorial building (seen in the left corner above) sits atop a hill at the Shelburne Museum looking out over the museum grounds. Though it is one of the few non-historic buildings on the grounds of the Shelburne Museum,  it contains some of the most significant pieces in the collection.

Foyer of the E.H.W. memorial Building
(for an aerial view of stairs click on image)

The structure itself was built on the museum grounds in the 1960s. The exterior resembles Greek revival architecture. The interior was built to house rooms replicating Mrs. Webb's childhood family apartment in New York City. When Electra Havemeyer Webb passed away,  her wish was to have her parent's collection transported to the Shelburne Museum.  The six rooms in the house are filled with the original furniture from the Manhattan apartment and are complimented by an impressive collection of artwork which also came from the apartment.      

Though the building is named for Mrs. Webb, her intent was for it to be a memorial for her parents Louisine and Harry. The artwork of the Electra Havemeyer Webb Memorial building is mostly European, compared with the American objects that comprise the rest of the Shelburne Museum. This building is a reflection of Electra's childhood, family life, and her parents' ambitious roles as art collectors.

The collection of the E.H.W. Memorial Building hosts artwork passed down from her parents. This diverse collection includes paintings by Cassatt, Corot, Courbet, Degas, Manet, Monet, and Rembrandt. Asian prints, various types of sculpture, and family photos also adorn the building. The story behind the acquired pieces and the influential people who chose them, offers insight as to how the Shelburne Museum was realized.

See Photos of the E.H.W. Memorial Building interior.

Home Shelburne Museum Saint Michael's College Contact Us