Ethan Allen Homestead Enrichment Program: The Life and Commercial Art of Rachael Robinson Elmer

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Join Rokeby Museum Director Lindsay Houpt-Varner for an in-depth discussion of the Museum’s seasonal exhibit A Modern Artist: The Commercial Art of Rachael Robinson Elmer. Elmer’s (1878-1919) career began at Rokeby under the tutelage of her parents. As a teenager she enrolled in a correspondence course to further her skills and later studied at Goddard College and the Art Students League of New York. During that time she began her career as an illustrator, producing drawings for her father’s books and works for periodicals such as Forest and Stream and The Youth Companion. From the turn of the 20th century until her death in 1919, Rachael built a career producing commercial art for major publishers across the U.S. From children’s books and advertisements to her popular postcard series, Rachael Robinson Elmer was a modern artist navigating the expanding profession of commercial art.

Dr. Lindsay Houpt-Varner is a historian specializing in community culture and social history in the Early Modern Period. She completed her undergraduate degrees in history and government and political affairs at Millersville University in Pennsylvania and her Master’s and Ph.D. at Durham University in the United Kingdom. She has worked in the public history and heritage field as a community educator and administrator. From 2016-2018, she was the project director for the Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul Initiative and afterward used knowledge from this project to develop the Community Outreach Department at Cumberland County Historical Society in Pennsylvania. She started her current role as director of Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, Vermont in September 2020. 

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