We invite you to explore some of the Bennington Museum's most significant collections, including exceptional examples of Fine Art, Decorative Art and Historical Artifacts.

The Battle of Bennington

The Military Gallery focuses on the Revolutionary War battle named after the town of Bennington. Through maps, fine art, and rare artifacts, the display explains the battle and its outcomes, as well as placing it in a broader context of our Colonial past. This gallery also includes a fine exhibition of Vermont-made firearms from 1760 to 1900. Learn about the art and science of gun-smithing in the Green Mountain State.

 

Bennington Pottery Gallery & Study Center

Traces the heritage of pottery which has been made in Bennington since 1785 when Captain John Norton began to produce utilitarian earthenware and stoneware. The Norton pottery grew throughout the 19th century and gained fame for its brilliantly decorated stoneware featuring flowers, birds, and animals.

Regular pottery production ceased in 1894, though the company operated as a wholesaler until 1911. The United States Pottery company (1847 - 1858) produced ornamental objects including yellow ware with Rockingham and flint enamel glazes, agate and granite wares, porcelain and parian. Technically innovative, the United States Pottery Company gained national prominence when its wares were featured in the 1853 Crystal Palace Exhibition in New York City. Today visitors can learn how these various types of ceramics were made by each company and used in Victorian homes.

A study center features an encyclopedic display of production work, along with copies of primary source documents concerning the companies.

The Bennington Pottery Gallery and Study Center was funded in part with grants from the Henry Luce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Vermont Community Foundation.

 

Fine Art

Visitors delight in our collection of Fine Art. For example, Erastus Salisbury Field's Luman Preston Norton as seen here or such pieces as Ralph Earl's important 1798 "Townscape of Bennington" (look for the artist himself in the lower left corner). Featured are early folk artists such as Ammi Philips and Oliver Tarbell Eddy, 19th-century artists such as William Morris Hunt and Frederick MacMonnies, and artists of the modern era such as Norman Rockwell and Simon Moselsio.

 

The Art of Grandma Moses

The Bennington Museum's collection features the work of Anna Mary Robertson Moses (1860 - 1961), who became known to the world as Grandma Moses, one of America's most noted folk artists.

Moses began painting in her seventies and by the time of her death in 1961, she had created over 1500 works of art.

The Bennington Museum holds the largest public collection of Moses' paintings in the country, as well as "Yarn paintings", art supplies, and the 18th century tilt-top table Moses painted with rustic scenes and used as her easel.

 

Grandma Moses Schoolhouse

Attended by Grandma Moses and other members of her family in Eagle Bridge, New York, the Grandma Moses Schoolhouse was moved to the grounds of the Bennington Museum in 1972. Today it houses an interactive family center that explores Grandma Moses' life and themes used in her paintings. Children can explore a 19th-century schoolhouse setting, a country store, and tea party. Activities include needlecraft, dress-up, antique toys, discovery boxes, and a make-your-own Grandma Moses painting wall.

 

The Gilded Age Vermont Gallery

Among the items in this Gallery that represent the wealth and prosperity of this industrial boom in Bennington is the Martin Wasp automobile that was designed and built by Karl Martin in Bennington between 1920 and 1925. Spectacular in appearance and constructed of the finest materials, the Wasp in the Bennington Museum is one of fewer than twenty ever produced, and is the only one in existence.

Vermont Furniture

The Bennington Museum has one of the finest collections of documented Vermont-made furniture dating from the late eighteenth century to contemporary works. Highlights include an exquisite musical tall case clock made by Nichols Goddard (1805 - 1810) of Rutland, a bombe-front chest from Windsor County, and an elaborately grain painted Matteson-type chest from Shaftsbury.

 

Photographs

From early daguerreotypes to glass plate negatives to recent digital prints, the museum’s extensive photograph collection documents the physical landscape and people of Bennington, Vermont and our surrounding area.  Among the group are mid 19th-century stereocards by Bennington photographers D.H. Cross and Calvin Dart, glass plate negatives from the early 20th century by Wills White, Frederick Burt and Arlington’s William Hayden as well as film negatives from the 1940s from Richard Hunt and 1960s negatives and prints made by Bennington Banner photographers Jon Allen and Warren Buckler. More than 1,000 images from the Bennington Museum's photography collection can be seen by clicking on the linking below, which will take you to the University of Vermont's Landscape Change Program's website.

Bennington Museum photographs in UVM's Landscape Change Program