New England has always been known for its myriad outdoor activities in all seasons, from gentle hiking to technical climbing, an easy lake paddle or whitewater rafting, cross-country and downhill skiing, and much more. But there’s a large cultural component to life in northern New England, as evidenced by the many museums throughout the region.
The fall season is a great time to explore them. You can start in southern Vermont, work your way farther north, then cross over into New Hampshire to view exhibits from sculptures to traditional art, modern art to specialized exhibits of just a single phase of our culture.
Bennington Museum in Bennington, Vt., has a number of ongoing exhibits continuing through the fall and into winter. Some of the best sculptors from Vermont and the Northeast are featured in an outdoor sculpture exhibit scattered throughout North Bennington village as well as on the 10-acre grounds of the museum itself in Old Bennington. They are displayed in a natural setting, along trails and in the meadow, offering a pleasant stroll as you view them. Robert Frost lived, farmed, and wrote poetry in Bennington County from 1920 to 1938. You can explore Frost’s relationships with the landscapes and the people of southern Vermont throughout the exhibit.
The exhibit, “We Are Still Here,” showcases Abenaki cultural traditions and features the work of these people who have inhabited the region for centuries. The world’s largest public collection of 20th-century folk artist Grandma Moses is housed here as an ongoing exhibit. Many artists of national and international stature who led the art world in modern thought and expression are featured in the Bennington Modernism Gallery. Works from the 1950s through the 1970s showcase these avant-garde leaders who lived and worked in the surrounding area. The Early Vermont Gallery presents life in the state from the mid-1700s to the early 1800s with both major pieces and smaller items in the permanent collection.