For Immediate Release: October 2, 2018
Contact: Susan Strano, Marketing Director
802-447-1571 ext. 204
Image: Adventures on the Prowl for Early Vermont Furniture
Adventures on the Prowl for Early Vermont Furniture
On Saturday, October 13 at 2:00 p.m. William Hosley, historian, writer, photographer, and more, presents Adventures on the Prowl for Early Vermont Furniture. In this program, Hosley shares discoveries he attained from 40 years of sleuthing around small museums, private estates and estate auctions in search of Vermont-made furniture treasures. Beginning in the 1970s, curator and author Bill Hosley, conducted the first statewide survey of Vermont furniture and has been turning over stones in search ever since. $7 for members and $10 for not-yet-members includes Hosley’s talk and admission to the Early Vermont Gallery at Bennington Museum.
Vermont is a place where “Locally Grown” is alive and doing very well, and has been since the late 1700s. Vermont cabinetmakers, operating amidst abundant raw materials and liberated from the shadow of major cities, continue to provide convincing evidence of an emerging American artistic culture. Vermont supplied its own needs for furnishings and housing from the time of first settlement well into the 19th century when railroads brought imported goods from distant markets. Using local materials and design to satisfy local tastes, Vermont cabinetmakers, chair makers and joiners produced furniture of distinctive quality.
This important chapter in the art history of early Vermont is the focal point of Early Vermont, Bennington Museum’s most recent permanent gallery installation. The Early Vermont Gallery presents life in Vermont from the time when the earliest European settlers arrived in 1761 with only the bare necessities to the early 1800s when Vermont craftsmen achieved a level of sophistication rivaling Boston and New York. (1760s to early-1800s) Explored through stories and vignettes, this gallery showcases over 85 major pieces and smaller items from the Museum’s extensive historical collection of over 30,000 objects. Housed in the former Decorative Arts Gallery, this 866 square foot space includes beautiful pieces representing the sophistication achieved not long after Vermont was first settled. In addition, this important chapter in the art history of early Vermont and Vermont-made is kept alive today by the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers and several prominent Vermont-based furniture manufacturers.
Hosley discovered his passion for art, architecture and local history prowling around Vermont during his years as a student at Vermont Academy and Middlebury College. By the age of 25, he’d visited – camera in hand – all 251 towns in Vermont. He was formerly Director of the New Haven Museum and Connecticut Landmarks, where he cared for a chain of historic attractions. Prior to that, as a curator and exhibition developer at Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Hosley organized major exhibitions including The Great River: Art & Society of the Connecticut Valley (1985), The Japan Idea: Art and Life in Victorian America (1990), and Sam & Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt’s Empire (1996), that spawned the Coltsville National Park. As an expert in heritage tourism, he has studied, lectured and advised museums and heritage destinations around the country. Hosley has also served as a content specialist for PBS, BBC and CPTV film documentaries.
About the Museum
Bennington Museum is located at 75 Main Street (Route 9), Bennington, in The Shires of Vermont. The museum is open 10 am to 5 pm daily through October. It is wheelchair accessible. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students over 18. Admission is never charged for younger students, museum members, or to visit the museum shop. Visit the museum’s website www.benningtonmuseum.org or call 802-447-1571 for more information.
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.