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Bennington Museum – Free Admission for Everyone!

On Saturday, May 11 from 10 am to 5 pm admission to the Bennington Museum is FREE for all visitors and the lineup for engagement is outstanding. At 11:00 am, join senior photographer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC Eileen Travell and Bennington Museum’s curator Jamie Franklin for an up close gallery exploration of Up Home: Hand-Colored Photographs by Susanne and Neil Rappaport.  Then from 1:00 to 4:30 pm, try your skill at hand-coloring works in the Paresky Wing. Minnie Griswold died in 1952, at which time her sons locked up their mother’s house in Pawlet, Vermont and left all her belongings in place, untouched, unaltered. Thirty years later, Pawlet documentarians Susanne and Neil Rappaport were invited by Charlie, one of Minnie’s sons, now 85 years old, into the home, and went on to produce a collection of hand-colored photographs of Minnie’s home. This exhibition brings together the best in documentary work and artistic expression.

At 3:00 pm, join us as we open Color | Gesture: Early Works by Emily Mason on view in the Works on Paper Gallery. Her exhibition is on view May 11 through September 8. For more than sixty years Emily Mason has been creating lyrical abstractions on canvas and paper, where strong gestural marks contrast with delicate washes of color and spontaneous splashes and drips.This exhibition traces the development of the artist’s distinctive style of abstraction through paintings on paper created in the 1950s and 1960s.

Enjoy the opening of the Museum’s spring Trail Tale titled Call Me Tree/Llámame árbol by Maya Christina Gonzalez. This tale will be up through July. You are welcome to visit the trail between dawn and dusk. Feeling creative? Try your hand at creating tissue paper flowers in the Grandma Moses Schoolhouse. Want to add even more history to your visit? Stop in the Museum’s Research Library and explore the volumes of interesting books and articles that reach back in time. And finally, don’t forget to get your deep discounts in the Museum Store. Museum members receive 25% discount and Not-Yet-Members, a 15% discount on their entire purchase. So much to do. Plan to spend the day with a picnic lunch on the hillside.

In the Regional Artists Gallery, is The Mind’s Eye: Paintings, Sculpture, and Books by Paul Katz. Closing on May 27, this exhibition features a variety of works, including paintings, sculpture and drawing books, mainly from Katz’s Prelude and Interlock series. The Preludes include paintings and everyday found objects with words painted on them as if on intertwined ribbons. The words are all taken from William Wordsworth’s poem “Prelude.” The look of the work was inspired in part by a photograph Katz saw in The New York Times™ in the days following 9/11. The image was of an office in which everything was covered by grey ash so that ordinary things like desks and computers took on the aspect of an ancient site exhumed.

Closing on May 26 is the small but intriguing installation titled Vermont Folk Sculpture: A Recent Acquisition. Unique works in this exhibition feature a carved fence post created in 1900 by Russel Risley (1842-1927) of Kirby, Vermont. Risley spent his entire life on his family’s farm where he went about painting on the walls of the house – inside and outside – as well as the out buildings such as the barn. He also carved fence posts, rock, and blocks of wood. The Carved Corner Post is one of the Museum’s newest acquisitions which was purchased with the assistance of Lyman Orton. This work is accompanied by other iconic examples of sculpture created by individuals from Vermont who worked in popular vernacular traditions.

In the Early Vermont Gallery explore the installation of Miniatures and Small Portraits from the Museum’s collection dating back to the American Revolution. Featured in this display is a framed tintype of a painting of Lt. Jonathan Holton, a soldier in the Battle of Bennington. A Lieutenant of the Nichols Regiment, Holton was wounded at Bennington on August 16, 1777. His wound is visible in the portrait also on view.

Stepping into the Museum, art and history are all around, and “creative collisions” can be found around almost every corner. Explore the permanent exhibitions such as Grandma Moses, now featuring paintings never before on view, Gilded Age Vermont, the Battle of Bennington Gallery, Bennington Modernism, and one of the newer galleries Early Vermont. This gallery showcases over 85 major pieces and smaller items from the Museum’s extensive historical collection of over 30,000 objects.

Bennington Museum is a member of ArtCountry, a consortium of notable art and performance destinations in the scenic northern Berkshires of Massachusetts and southern Green Mountains of Vermont, including The Clark Art Institute, Williams College Museum of Art , Williamstown Theatre Festival (20 minutes away); and MASS MoCA (25minutes away). Visit ArtCountry.org for more information on these five great cultural centers.