The final phase of the re-opening at The American Museum & Gardens will be completed next Monday, 20 July, when Claverton Manor opens its doors to visitors wanting to see the main collection.
This is the only museum outside the United States to showcase the decorative arts of America. The permanent collection includes more than two hundred historic American quilts, exceptional pieces of Shaker furniture, Native American objects, and two hundred historical maps of the New World from the twelfth century to the Renaissance. The Museum also has the most significant collection of American folk art in Europe.
Following major redevelopments in 2018, the Museum now boasts one of the South West’s newest and most extensive garden offers. Opened by Alan Titchmarsh, the New American Garden is the first European commission for Washington DC-based landscape architects Oehme, van Sweden. The planting follows the free-form style made famous by the firm’s founders, Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden. Native American shrubs, perennials, and bulbs feature heavily, but the garden is designed to work with the steep terrain and enhance the view over the Limpley Stoke Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Museum’s gardens also feature a reproduction of George Washington’s upper garden as it would have appeared on his Mount Vernon estate in Virginia in 1799. Our Mount Vernon garden features ornamental planting, fruit and vegetables, and boxwood hedges in the shape of four fleur de lis that symbolize the friendship between America’s first president and the Marquis de Lafayette.
Richard Wendorf, Director of the American Museum & Gardens, is looking forward to welcoming members and visitors back inside Claverton Manor:
‘We’ve been eager to share our unique collection and we are now ready to do so in a safe manner. Small groups of visitors will be able to tour the various period rooms and folk art gallery every day. We hope to slowly increase the numbers of people who can explore Claverton Manor over the coming days and weeks as we continue to understand the needs, and wishes of our visits as we all emerge from lockdown.’
The American Museum & Gardens is open every day from 10am to 5pm. For more information about planning a visit, please go to www.americanmuseum.org