'A Life in Lists and Notes' | The Museum of Everyday Life | Shows | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Shows

'A Life in Lists and Notes'

When: Through May 31

You really have no excuse to miss an exhibition at the Museum of Everyday Life in Glover: Each one lasts for a whole year. And the reward when you get to this Northeast Kingdom museum-in-a-barn is seeing not only the current show but items from previous ones — pencils, keys, bells, knots, even toothbrushes. The growing archive serves as both a reminder and a prelude to this year’s chosen specimens. Year after year, proprietor Clare Dolan has demonstrated that an “everyday” object can inspire a fascinating, entertaining and unexpected collection. The very quotidian nature of the items touches on something universally human. While this year’s exhibition can’t be called colorful — most lists and notes are written on white paper — it is certainly varied. A note taped to a five-gallon bucket promises “Perfectly good old peanut butter.” An 1899 Family Hand Laundry list itemizes clothing to be cleaned, from “shirts with bosoms” to “butcher frocks.” There’s a display of notes left behind in library books; a birdwatcher’s list of 2016 backyard sightings; an intubation checklist (Dolan is an ER nurse); and an invitation — complete with smiley face — suggesting “Pants off at lunch?” For visitors who might be inspired to compose a list on the spot, signage at a writing station informs us that list making is a spiritual exercise. Amen.