The Emblem Museum

We went for an afternoon walk about town yesterday and chanced on a signboard that read “Emblem Museum.” Ok, I’ll bite…

It’s upstairs near Bhava Yoga on Elliot Street, and a beautiful space. It’s really two rooms full of paintings, which take their inspiration from Ethiopian scrolls and a Victorian travel book found in an attic. 

Julia Zanes, the artist and proprietor, greeted us warmly. We learned that ‘museum’ might not be quite the right word, but ‘gallery’ sounded too commercial.   She explained both the creative and physical processes behind the painting series, which resonated with me… finding this this old F. Hopkinson Smith book in the attic of her new home, connecting somehow with these old scrolls, hanging out with someone who just happens to do gold leaf… and a few hundred hours later you have Art. And art we liked, it would look good in this house. 

As a side project she makes puppets and does puppetry, because why not, and hopes to put on shows for kids, but maybe with less disturbing puppets, so they don’t cry. Good idea, but as grown ups we thought the creepy puppets were really cool. And also creepy. 

Can Brattleboro support another somewhat esoteric gallery/museum? One is hopeful, but… I’m glad we got to see it and meet her now. 

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