The Green Mountain State – Vermont, Part 2


This sight brought on a huge smile.
A big American flag against the backdrop of the Green Mountains.
Life is good.

Our destination was the Bennington Museum in Bennington, Vermont.  There’s a back story here, which many of my longtime bloggers know.  Milly the quilter ‘happened’ because of my first visit to this museum.  I went there to see the Grandma Moses collection, was thunderstruck at their Haitian quilt exhibit, and… the rest is history.  My classroom designed quilts that now hang in National museums.  Milly hand-sewed those quilts.  The children loved Milly.  She dearly loved them, too.

Fast forward to now.  I was headed, once again, to see the Grandma Moses collection.  The museum hosted a series of webinars on Grandma Moses, which I ‘gobbled up‘, and was determined to create a unit of study at school.  Fortunately a museum director loves the idea as well, and gave me a tour of the collection.  We brainstormed about the many possibilities at school, using the paintings to learn about seasons, animals, farm life, and more.  Did you know Grandma Moses used glitter in her winter paintings?

D98C772E-0E76-48FC-84AA-CA80EF3698FCThank you Bennington Museum for this lovely gift!

There is a plethora of artifacts and art in the museum.  It houses a diverse collection of history from soup to nuts.  There is something for everyone.  Let’s take a tour.

09E4F305-D536-4136-8C2C-8E3E23C92CADA magnificent entrance.  The building was originally a church.

17AB5AA3-3CE0-4FE8-9B2D-4621688407E8This eagle is huge and graces the lobby.

CD2D2D4A-4FDD-4E0E-B7A8-6C811CDEFB29A storm coming across the Green Mountains.  One of my favorite paintings.

This is what I saw traveling across Vermont.

B1AA078F-00E6-4B6C-8B21-9C4F7BFEF2704FC75991-FA4F-4600-AB1F-4920D3AC1B09Bennington is famous for its pottery, still being made today.

Those clever Yankees used everything, including turning tree fungus into art.

Headstones in the old New England cemeteries were beautifully carved and decorated.  Many were made of slate which retains its markings.
This one is made of marble- quite rare.

Native hardwood trees make for beautiful furniture.

This is a Memory Ware Tower.  It was popular in the late nineteenth century
to collect special personal items and attach them to pottery.
Won’t my children at school have fun making one of these?

Modern art is exciting.  I can’t wait to recreate this with the children.

I got lost in this room in the best of ways.  Silver, tools, hardware…

Vermonters didn’t throw away anything.
An old fence post can become a work of art.
Maybe this one scared away crows.

Outside the museum was a StoryWalk.
Follow the trail, read the page of the story, and build with items in the woods.
Tell your own story using words on wood chips,
hanging them on a big tree stump.

There was more driving and Vermont discovery.  Our last stop was the famous Bennington Monument.  Grandma Moses added this monument to some of her popular paintings.

E3AB83AD-74DE-4C9B-9E4A-F73194F2F4E3C4611B89-6464-4AB1-A19E-84E9B1D9A8B5The Bennington Monument is a famous tribute to
The Battle of Bennington,
a 1777 battle of the American Revolutionary War.

Thank you for coming along on my trip to Vermont.  Happy trails to you.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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61 Responses to The Green Mountain State – Vermont, Part 2

  1. Darlene says:

    I would love this museum. I’m sure you came away with many great ideas.

  2. Ritu says:

    Thank you for sharing all this with me, someone who is unlikely to ever see these artefacts in reality 🥰

  3. A wonderful museum, Jennie. I have never heard of Grandma Moses but her paintings are lovely. The museum was very generous to send you a painting.

    • Jennie says:

      They are lovely paintings full of stories, which I think will resonate with children. Yes, it was generous of the museum to give me a print. I think the museum is wonderful with such a diverse collection. Thank you, Robbie.

  4. Dan Antion says:

    Thank you for taking us along, Jennie. I have been thinking about driving up to see this museum. Now I want to for sure.

  5. My husband and I made the same trip to the Bennington Museum and Monument three or four years ago. I enjoyed reliving our trip through your wonderful photos and commentary.

  6. Great trip, Jennie. There is so much for the children to learn. What a treasure trove.

  7. Thanks for this lovely tour, Jennie. You live in a beautiful area and the museum is wonderful!

  8. beetleypete says:

    That museum is a treasure trove of potential projects and activities for your class. I like the words on wood, being hung on the trees. And the poster they gave you will generate so much discussion.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  9. That was a fun trip. I had no idea they had glitter when Grandma Moses was painting. She has been an inspiration to all of us “older” folks. 🙂 I love looking at old things and how it was before us. I miss Molly the quilter. Now, due to you and your kids, Molly has a place in history too. Enjoy your trip. Had a good time from the back seat. 😉

    • Jennie says:

      I know just how you feel. Those paintings made everyone feel good. I was as surprised as you to learn about the glitter. It was very a fine grade texture, so it gave a subtle hint to the snow on the trees. There was a glass display case that housed a jar of her glitter, along with ink, pens, paintbrushes and old tubes of paint. What I love the most was how every painting of hers tells a story, much like Norman Rockwell’s paintings. LI suppose that’s why they were friends. Isn’t that wonderful?

      I dearly miss Milly. It’s interesting that she’s not a Millie, but a Milly. Somehow this trip to the museum feels full circle, like I picked up where I was supposed to be on the first trip, before I was sidetracked by the Haitian quilts and then Milly.

      Things really do happen for a reason! I’m so glad you were in the backseat on this trip, Marlene. Thank you!

      • I just realized my mistake reading this. Having sleep issues which result in brain issues. Not sure where Molly came from instead of Milly. I’m having to watch myself very carefully these days.

      • Jennie says:

        I think Molly is a lovely name. Milly would think so, too. 🙂 I can’t type when I’m tired. My muddled brain always makes boo-boos.

  10. petespringerauthor says:

    I love the back story. The thought that some of your children will walk into one of those museums someday when they are an adult and tell their children about their fantastic teacher named Jennie as they look at one of those quilts gives me a warm feeling all over.

    • Jennie says:

      That’s no nice of you to say, Pete. Thank you! LI don’t think you were blogging when I wrote the story of Milly and all the quilts. It turned out to be a serial, 10 parts I think. The whole thing is fascinating. I really think you would enjoy the read, emergent curriculum at its best. If you are feeling COVID bound, it’s titled The Story of Milly, Part 1 (etc.). We even get invited to the Intrepid Museum! I love adventure stories (passionate teacher stories). Oh, one of my former students visited the museum to see the quilt and sent me a photo. Really nice. Best to you, Pete.

  11. Wonderful visit, Jenny! Thanks so much for sharing…

  12. Wonderful eye candy from your field trip! But I have to say, your bare feet stole the show for me!

  13. I love your gifted print. I would love this museum and the Grandma Moses collection as I love Americana art.

    Oh yes, the children would love making a memory tower! 😄

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Deborah. Yes, you would love the museum. Americana art is my favorite, too. If you ever get this way, please let me know so we can go together to the museum. We would have so much fun! I will post pictures when the children make their memory towers. I was deeply touched by the gifted print.

  14. I remember visiting here when I was a child and falling in love with the paintings of Grandma Moses.

    • Jennie says:

      How wonderful that you were there as a child! I think most people are taken with Granda Moses. Her paintings remind us of the good times. They tell a story, too.

  15. Wow, Jennie! I loved everything about this tour, the paintings, the breathtaking furniture — that would have been my favorite. But I had never heard of the Memory Ware Towers. That one is such an unexpected design too. Definitely my favorite. Hugs on the wing.

  16. sjhigbee says:

    Thank you for sharing these lovely images and taking us to a marvellous place… What a treat!

  17. dgkaye says:

    Jennie, thanks for sharing that lovely slice of Americana ❤

  18. A wonderful guided tour Jennie and would a wonderfully rich and diverse collection… The children will love the Grandma Moses concept and it will be fantastic…thanks for sharing..hugsx

    • Jennie says:

      Thanks you, Sally! I love smaller museums that have many different things. Bennington Museum has the largest collection of Grandma Moses. I know the children will love the art and the many possibilities. I started to save small boxes for Memory Ware Towers. 😀

  19. Pingback: The Green Mountain State – Vermont, Part 2 | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  20. Sarah says:

    Wow! What a great museum! I think I could spend hours in it! The eagle is very impressive and I love the paintings and of course the pottery! That memory tower is amazing- definitely something the kids would love to do! Thanks for sharing this trip with is, Jennie!

  21. Mary Smith says:

    I really enjoyed this, not least because two of my Afghan friends are currently in Vermont visiting their son who did his degree there. They have told me how beautiful it is.

  22. Great photos. Looks like an interesting museum.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Sharon. It’s not too big, and has something for everyone. Great art! I grew up with a Grandma Moses print in the breakfast room of our house. I always enjoyed her art, so seeing the full collection in person was a treat.

  23. What a intriguing museum, and for sure great impressions you got there, Jennie! Love the arrangement of the different artefacts. The fence post is soooo nice, as the gift you got. Thank you for sharing all these impressions. Michael

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