Bennington Museum Opens a New Season with Free Admission Day
The Bennington Museum invites everyone to Community Day on Saturday, February 4, when admission is free. Explore the permanent galleries – Gilded Age Vermont, Bennington Modernism, Battle of Bennington – along with our Cabinet of Curiosities, the original Museum dating to 1855. The changing exhibitions are varied, exciting and showcase art, history and innovation. Opening the year is ‘Holding the Line,’ ceramic sculpture by Stanley Rosen. Mark your calendars to visit with Rosen on Saturday, March 11, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Rosen rose to prominence, alongside the likes of Peter Voulkos, John Mason and Ken Price, as one of the most dynamic artists working in the media of ceramics, which was experiencing nothing short of a revolution. During the last 40-plus years, Rosen has focused on his role as teacher (Bennington College 1960 to 1991) and maker of a unique, evocative body of abstract ceramic sculptures, rarely exhibiting or publishing his work. As a result, his abstract ceramic sculptures have been seen by few and his name has largely faded from the history books. The exhibition shines a much-deserved light on an important body of work created between the late 1950s up to the last few years.
‘Buy Local: Photographs from the Weichert-Isselhardt Collection’ of glass plate negatives opens the 2017 Regional Artist gallery, featuring selected images from the thousands recently catalogued. The first installation of this year-long exhibit focuses on shops, commerce and manufacturing. Bennington was changing rapidly at the turn of the 19th century, and local photographers captured the people and landscape using negatives on thin plates of glass. Most of the negatives in the Weichert-Isselhardt Collection were taken by Madison Watson (active in Bennington 1888 to 1899) and Wills T. White (active in Bennington 1899 to 1940). When White retired, he left the glass plate negatives in the attic above his former studio in downtown Bennington. The building also housed the Bennington Banner, and in 1958 the negatives were found by Robert Weichert, a staff photographer. He started collecting historic photographs and later hired Tordis Isselhardt to help organize the collection. Upon Weichert’s death in 1983, Isselhardt became custodian of this treasure trove of history. All of the images are available on the Museum’s website, but a selection will be on the walls in the Regional Artists’ Gallery of the Museum through the year.
On view through Sunday, March 19, is the annual Student Art Show, bringing artwork of the region’s elementary, middle and high school students to the Museum in a display ranging from whimsical projects by the young students to more advanced work of older students. Arranged by theme, visitors can explore the artistic development of children in various mediums. Ceramic work complement the paper sculptures, collages, pastels, photographs and pen and ink drawings on view.
Bennington Museum is located at 75 Main Street/Route 9, Bennington. It is wheelchair accessible. Visit benningtonmuseum.org or call 802-447-1571 for more information.