For Immediate Release: September 12, 2017
Contact: Susan Strano, Marketing Director, Bennington Museum
802-447-1571 ext. 204

Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses (1860-1961)
The Quilting Bee, 1950
Oil on pressed board, 20 x 24 inches
Private Collection, courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York
Copyright © 2017, Grandma Moses Properties Co. New York

Entrance to the George Aiken Wildflower Trail in the Hadwen Woods


Grandma Moses Picnic and Quilting Bee

In celebration of Grandma Moses: American Modern and the 1863 Stickle Quilt both on view at the Bennington Museum, the volunteers at the George Aiken Wildflower Trail are hosting a Grandma Moses Picnic and Quilting Bee for children and their families on Saturday, September 30, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. (Rain Date is October 1) As part of the festivities, the group is also hosting the “Best Apple Pie in Bennington” contest, with the pies first being judged and then served as part of the picnic, along with free cider and apples provided by the trail volunteers. All participants and their families will be given a free pass to the museum for that day, allowing them to see both exhibitions as well as the newly opened Early Vermont Gallery.

The picnic and quilting bee will take place both in the Children’s Sculpture Garden section of the Hadwen Woods and in the covered pavilion adjacent to the parking lot. Fabric will be provided, and depending on their age and skill levels, the children will be shown how to sew a small patchwork tote bag or a potholder, or — in the case of very young children — how to create a “quilt” square by pasting fabric pieces onto a colored background. Natural materials will also be provided for children and their families to make “natural quilt” squares from tree branches, twigs, bark, pine cones and other materials from the trail, set into log frames.

Trail volunteers see the event as something that Grandma Moses herself might have staged, with families bringing a picnic lunch that will be supplemented by free apples, cider and apple pie, while children create art in a natural setting. All pies should be delivered to the pavilion by 11 a.m., where they will be judged by Bennington Town Manager Stuart Hurd and Justine Scanlon. There will be a great prize for the winner. Entertainment will be provided from noon to 1 p.m. by the Bennington Ukulele String Ensemble, which is led by Henry Simpatico.

Inspiration for this celebration came from The Quilting Bee, painted by Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses in 1950 when she was 90 years old. The 1863 Jane Stickle Quilt, composed of 5602 pieces, was created by Jane A. Stickle during the Civil War in the year 1863. Born in 1860, Moses was a mere child at that time. Grandma Moses lived much of her life in Eagle Bridge, N.Y., just west of Bennington, while Jane Stickle, who was born in 1817, lived in Shaftsbury.

The Aiken Wildflower Trail, which is in the Hadwen Woods located on the Museum property just beyond the Grandma Moses Schoolhouse, is a large garden devoted to wildflowers and native ferns. The trail is named for George D. Aiken, who in addition to being a two-term Vermont governor and six-term U.S. Senator had a nursery in Putney that specialized in fruits, berries and wildflowers. He was an early advocate of wildflowers and public gardens.

The Trail is a series of paths winding through more than six acres of woods and meadow. Volunteers have spent the past nine years cutting new and maintaining existing trails, removing thousands of invasive plants, and planting many of the wildflowers — including Virginia Bluebells, Coneflowers, Mayapples, Jack-in-the-Pulpits, Dutchman’s Breeches, Steeplebush, and other things — that Aiken himself grew, loved, wrote about, and urged others to grow.

About the Museum
Bennington Museum is located at 75 Main Street (Route 9), Bennington, in The Shires of Vermont. The museum is open daily 10 am to 5 pm 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 store. Visit the museum’s website or call 802-447-1571 for more information.

Bennington Museum is close to other notable art and culture destinations, including Williams College Museum of Art and The Clark Art Institute (20 minutes); and MassMoCA (25minutes). Visit ArtCountry for more information on these cultural centers.