A Visit to the Land 
of Grandma Moses and Norman Rockwell


A view of the Burlington Monument from Bennington College

Late March my wife had Spring Vacation. We decided to take a tour through Southern Vermont. Burlington would be our first destination. It's only about a 2 1/2 hour drive (using the Thruway) from Central New York. When we arrived at Burlington there was no snow and it seemed like a typical late March day. We decided to continue east up the mountain road for a ways to see if we could find the cross country ski place I'd found on the internet. About a mile out it hit. A blinding snow storm. After about ten mile of harrowing driving we turn around and headed back to Burlington. By that time there was already 6 inches of wet snow on the road. Going back down was a challenge. When we arrived in Burlington again the town was covered with a heavy white blanket of snow reminding us of one of Grandma Moses winter scenes. Coincidently we were headed to the Burlington Museum which has the Grandma Moses Gallery. We spent about 2 1/2 hours in the museum.


We saw this The Rainbow painting on Masonite (pressed board) at the Museum.
Painting entirely from memory this is a typical busy scene of country life

I was surprised to learn that she did her painting at a flat kitchen table on Masonite board. The museum showed the table and most of her paintings which were donated back to the museum. She painted very busy and colorful country scenes from memory. We also learned she was actually an artist all here life doing embroidery scenes similar in style to her paintings. Some of these embroidered scenes were displayed at the museum. She stopped embroidering at 76 and took up painting because of arthritis. She was born in HOOSICK FALLS, N. Y. ( North of Albany). After living in Virginia for 20 years she moved back near HOOSICK FALLS, N. Y. She painted 6 hours a day till she passed away at 101. She didn't paint for commercial benefits. She painted because she loved painting.
(For more on Grandma Moses CLICK HERE - the New York Times Obituary)

We had dinner and stayed in Burlington that night. The next day we took a tour of Bennington College. We also found all three covered bridges in the area. Looking at the map I notice there were dozens of these well preserved bridges all over Vermont It has an extensive campus on high hill out side of Burlington. Then we headed north toward Arlington and Manchester.


One of the Covered Bridges (Vermont has dozens)  in the Area


Typical scene in the Vermont countryside
We visited the Norman Rockwell Museum in Arlington. Unlike Grandma Moses Norman Rockwell was a commercial artist who lived in Arlington for 14 Years. He had lucrative magazine contracts, such as the Saturday Evening Post, to do covers depicting American life. I found out latter that he left Arlington to move to Stockbridge, MA because of his second wife's mental illness. His first wife died in an insane asylum. The real Norman Rowell Museum is in Stockbridge. We haven't been there yet. After touring the museum we headed out to find his home outside Arlington. A painting at the museum shows his home as one house behind a covered bridge. However, there were two identical home at the location. I don't know the full story, but some research showed he actually owned two homes.
(FOR MORE ON NORMAN ROCKWELL CLICK HERE- How an American icon became an artist By Christina Larson)


Famous painting of the Rockwell home in Arlington


Our photo showing the two homes

 


The Church and Bridge seen in the painting


Our photo of the two homes. The one on the right is currently a B&B.

We continues up to Manchester where we were amazed by the number of stately old homes in very good condition. We at in ate dinner and stayed in Manchester that evening. The next day we headed home.


A hillside view of Manchester

We decided to go due west and drive though the area of  Hoosick Falls and Grandma Moses country. We were in New York now. As we turned onto the road to Hoosick Falls we noticed a covered bridge on a road to a town called Eagle Bridge. We had previously been discussing that Vermont has many more than NYS. We drove to the bridge and took a photo. We drove the rest of the way without using the Thruway.

Much to my surprise, when I was researching Grandma Moses I found that her farm was really at Eagle Bridge (about 6 miles from Hoosick Falls) and that we had been in Grandma Moses country.


The bridge at Eagle Bridge, NY near Grandma Moses Farm

A Readers Response - The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge
Central New Yorker CNYflyfish Outside House n' Yard Zach's Web Irish Connection