For Immediate Release: March 21, 2018
Contact: Susan Strano, Marketing Director
802-447-1571 ext. 204
Collection of Stephen Anisman
Ocean Liner Models and Toys
Collection of Woody Swain
Collection of Chuck Webster
Bennington Collects Returns to Bennington Museum
Collectors are as diverse as the objects they collect. While some people began collecting when they were very young, others took an interest in a particular collection upon retirement. There are so many reasons for collecting and they range from vocational interest to associations with objects that evoke memories of a particular person, place, or event. Oftentimes, it is the sheer interest of the objects themselves and the various “stories” they have to tell, that provide a glimpse into the life and personality of the collector while also telling us about the time, place, and even the people who made the objects. From comic books, matchbox cars, and video games to items one might not think of as a collection, such as antique and vintage outboard motors, microphones, model ocean liners, and Titanic memorabilia, people are constantly gathering objects and classifying them with their own personal system. Bennington Collects brings together an eclectic selection of over a dozen collections that have been compiled by residents of the greater Bennington area.
Bennington Collects is on view March 31 through June 13. “This was a particularly difficult exhibition to create due to the vast and varied collections that were brought to my attention. It is my hope that we have included a wonderful sampling of what has peaked individual’s curiosities and brought them joy in collecting.” states Jamie Franklin, curator at the Bennington Museum. He continues, “It is through the care and thought that is put into the gathering and preservation of objects such as those seen in the exhibition, that institutions such as the Bennington Museum are able to step in later and watch after and interpret them for perpetuity. In the end, our human desire to collect may be an instinctual way of preserving our culture, not only for ourselves but also for generations to come.”
Included in the exhibition is a selection of comic books from Martin Mosher, a Bennington postal worker whose collection in 2016 exceeded 20,000 books. “I started collecting comics in 1979. I was 12-years old and delivering newspapers. I lived in Troy then and went to Fantaco, a comic book store in Albany.” states Mosher. And the rest is history. “In 1980, I attended a comic convention in Albany. I had $50 on me at the time and brought comics. I met some comic writers and artists. In 1982, Aquilonia Comics opened in Troy, NY a few blocks from my house. I have been getting comics there ever since.”
Another interesting collection is presented by Stephen Anisman. “I’ve been a musician since I was very young,” remarks Anisman, “but have only recently developed an interest in recording. It’s been remarkably interesting and rewarding to learn about this discipline, as the learning curve is steep, but the information is rich and fun to learn.“ It was this interest in music that sparked Anisman’s collection of microphones. “This is a working collection. They’ve been chosen either because they have a unique character of which I want to take advantage, or because they’re versatile “workhorse” microphones that can do a good job on a variety of sound sources. Some, I bought just because I think they look cool, but even these have potential uses. ”
Chuck Webster collects antique and vintage outboard motors. Growing up on a lake, boating was and still is a large part of Webster’s life. In his “younger” days he raced outboard hydroplanes and when that ended he began his collection of old outboards and today has 40 motors in his collection. They range from a 1938 Elto Pal 1.1, his first motor, to Mercury motors with varying horsepower. “I enjoy the hunt for old motors and then the restoration of them. It is satisfying to take a motor that has been sitting unused for many years and make it run again.” remarks Webster.
Want to see and learn more about what people collect and why? Bennington Collects is on view March 31 through June 13.
Join us for the opening exhibition reception on Friday, April 13 (6:30 to 8:30 pm) when you can meet the collectors and talk to them about what inspired their collection. Tickets are $25 for Museum members and $35 for Not-Yet-Members. Cash Bar with a collection of Vermont beers, Savories and Sweets, chance to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum for those who pay for their reservation by March 30. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 802-447-1571 ext. 200.
About the Museum
View this exhibition with regular admission to 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 Thursday through Tuesday, closed Wednesday through May. 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.