Above Photo Credit: Anna Mary Robertson "Grandma" Moses (1860-1961)
Autumn, 1957 Oil on pressed wood, 11.5 x 15.5 inches
Bennington Museum Collection, Gift of Rachel Cottrell
Copyright © 2016, Grandma Moses Properties Co., New York
Tour Dates: July through November 2017
Tour Length: 4 Days/3 Nights
Grandma Moses: A tiny, lively woman with mischievous gray eyes and a quick wit who charmed wherever she went. A lady who proved that age is just a number. One of America’s most beloved folk artists.
Follow along as we explore the life and artistic accomplishments that won Grandma Moses a wide following. Learn how an ailment took her from her passion for embroidery and into the world of painting. Commented one of her fans, “There emanates from her paintings a light-hearted optimism; the world she shows us is beautiful and it is good. You feel at home in all these pictures, and you know their meaning.”
During the 1950’s, Grandma Moses' exhibitions broke attendance records around the world. At age 88, Mademoiselle magazine named Grandma Moses a “Young Woman of the Year.” Her 100th birthday was named by New York Governor, Nelson Rockefeller as "Grandma Moses Day."
The one-room schoolhouse attended by Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma Moses), was moved to the Bennington Museum that currently has the largest collection of her works in the world. Beginning in July, 2017 this collection will more than double in size due to a collaborative effort of public and private sectors. The exhibit, “Grandma Moses: American Modern,” reexamines the beloved artist and reestablishes her to her rightful place within the canon of mid-century American Modern Art. Bennington Museum will have the distinct honor of welcoming visitors to enjoy the most extensive exhibition of Grandma Moses paintings assembled within the past 50 years, with over 65 paintings on view. Enjoy the journey of Grandma’s accomplishments, recall rural farm life through her “old-timey” New England landscapes, and celebrate the works of a beloved artist.
Arrive mid afternoon at the Rockwell Exhibit-Sugar Shack in Arlington, Vermont. Your visit includes a tour of the Sugar House, a video of Rockwell’s life in Arlington and time to tour the exhibit. The Norman Rockwell Exhibition focuses on Rockwell’s work from 1939 – 1953, the years he actually lived in Arlington. Inside the exhibit, either Mr. Don Fisher, a model in the 1954 “Saturday Evening Post” cover “Breaking Home Ties,” or Ruth Skellie, a model in the 1939 “Post” cover “Marbles Champion,” will speak to your group about their experience posing for Rockwell, and will be happy to autograph a print for you!
Grandma Moses and Norman Rockwell were friends! Grandma Moses appears on the far left edge in the Norman Rockwell painting Christmas Homecoming, which was printed on The Saturday Evening Post's December 25, 1948 cover.
Continue to your Vermont country lodge accommodations situated in the heart of the Green Mountains and your home for three nights. Take in the scenic views and refresh before dinner. Gather for an included Welcome Dinner served at the Lodge.
After dinner, gather around the fireplace for a bedtime story! In honor of the occasion, Granny Gowns and Onesies are welcome! The story, as read by a local guide, is the story of Grandma Moses from her days on the farm through her rise to fame as an artist. Everyone will receive a copy of the book to take home!
Breakfast at the Lodge will prepare you for a day on the Grandma Moses Trail. A local guide will join you during breakfast.
Your first stop will be at the Bennington Museum, home of the world's largest collection of Grandma Moses art. The Museum will be showcasing its special exhibit that more than doubles their collection of Moses’ work. Your docent led tour will provide you with an in depth introduction to the primitive paintings that so fondly captured the landscapes of New England and life on the farm. After the tour, there will be time to explore at your leisure.
From the Museum, walk to the Old First Church. The Old First Church was gathered in 1762, the first Protestant church in Vermont. Much of the early history of Bennington and of Vermont took place in and around the original Meeting House, built in 1763. The Vermont Legislature, in 1935, designated the church as "Vermont's Colonial Shrine.”
Robert Frost’s remains are buried in the cemetery adjacent to the church. He was not a member of the church, however he bought 2 lots in 1940 for a family burial place. Vermont’s landscape was an inspiration for Grandma Moses and also for the words of Robert Frost.
Board the coach and travel a short distance to the Bennington Battle Monument, a landmark that may be seen in many of Grandma Moses’ paintings. In 1777 General John Stark, aided by the Green Mountain Boys, defeated the King’s troops. The objective of this famous “Battle of Bennington” was the site where military supplies had been stored. In place of the storehouse, now stands a 306-foot monolith. On the picturesque grounds are additional monuments and a lovely gift shop. There will be time to disembark for a photo op.
Scatter for lunch on your own in the quaint town of Bennington, Vermont’s first chartered town. There are a variety of eateries from which to choose.
Board the coach and travel to Mount Nebo in Eagle Ridge, NY. This was the homestead of Grandma Moses and is now the gallery of her great grandson, Will Moses. The gallery is located in the barn of Grandma Moses’ farm.
As a fourth generation member of the renowned Moses family, painting is a natural tradition for Will, who began painting when he was four years old. Stimulated by his grandfather's confident approach, Will developed his own unique style of Americana. Today, Will continues to carry on the family tradition. Although his style is reminiscent of that of his celebrated great-grandmother, it is more complex and sophisticated.
Will Moses and his wife, Sharon will personally greet you when you arrive at the Mount Nebo Gallery. They will offer an introduction to the property and explain the contents of the gallery. Bring your Grandma Moses storybook for an exclusive signing session by Will Moses himself!
Before you depart the gallery, gather outside of Grandma Moses’ home for a photo op.
Your last stop of the day is at the utterly outlandish Big Moose Deli and Country Store. This store offers the feel of a traditional country store stocked with items that tell a story. From homemade foods to gifts galore, there is something for everyone. Purchase one of their delicious pastries to enjoy on the way back to the lodge.
Return to the lodge to relax and refresh after a busy day. Say goodbye to your step-on guide. Gather for an included dinner served at the lodge’s restaurant.
After dinner, gather for a “Jam Session”-fruit jam, that is! Grandma Moses brought her paintings and jams to the county fairs, however, no one paid attention to the art, but her jams won ribbons. Your jam cooking demo will leave you with a sweet souvenir to remember your day in Grandma Moses land.
After breakfast in the lodge, board the coach and head out into another day in Vermont’s rural landscape.
Your first stop will be at Quechee Gorge, “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon.” There will be time to disembark the coach for a photo of this 165-foot deep gorge with the Ottauquechee River running through it.
Your next stop will be at Billings Farm and Museum. During your self-guided tour, learn about Vermont farming traditions, from antique tools to farming methods.
Your visit also includes a butter churning class! By the end of your time at Billings Farm, you will have the same skill set that Grandma Moses had while working on the farm for all of those years!
Enjoy an included picnic lunch at the farm during your visit.
Next, cross the street and tour the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion. Nestled among rolling hills and pastures, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is the only National Park to tell the story of conservation history and the evolving nature of land stewardship in America. The boyhood home of George Perkins Marsh, one of America's first conservationists, and later the home of Frederick Billings, the property was given to the American people by its most recent owners, Laurance S. and Mary F. Rockefeller. Originally built in 1805, this Federal-style brick house remains an excellent example of the Queen Ann Style.
After all of the farm chores, it’s time for a little pleasure---shopping at the Vermont Country Store! From the scented candles to the incredible fudge, the Vermont Country Store is a classic general store that isn’t so general. Wonderful clothing, kitchen gadgets, furniture and so many hard-to-find items from yesteryear are amongst the 5,000 products available at this New England legend. This store even has its own covered bridge known as the Kissing Bridge. Sample dips, cheeses and candy while learning about the family who started the stores and catalogue business. You may even find your very own granny gown!
Arrive back at the lodge and prepare to get your country on! Climb aboard a horse-drawn wagon, and head over the fields and though the woods to the Taylor Farm. This 180-year old working dairy farm is the ideal setting for an evening of foot stompin’ fun! Your evening begins with a delicious bar-be-que dinner served hot from the grill. Then, buckle up your dance shoes and get ready for a hoedown. Yee-haw!
After breakfast at the lodge, pack your bags and check out of your rooms. There will be time to capture photos of the amazing views before you depart.
On your way out of Vermont, visit Hildene, The Lincoln Family home. Explore this grand 24-room estate and the beautiful gardens that were built by Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln, in 1905. It was home to only Lincoln descendants until 1975, longer than any other Lincoln residence. Your visit includes a self-guided tour of the home and the amazing formal gardens.
Depart Manchester about noon and continue your travels home. Take back memories of a rural landscape and a simpler way of life as you ponder on these words from Grandma Moses’ autobiography, My Life’s History: “I look back on my life like a good day’s work, it was done and I feel satisfied with it. I was happy and contented, I knew nothing better and made the best out of what life offered. And life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.”
Upon her death at age 101, on December 13, 1961, President John F. Kennedy memorialized her: "The death of Grandma Moses removed a beloved figure from American life. The directness and vividness of her paintings restored a primitive freshness to our perception of the American scene. Both her work and her life helped our nation renew its pioneer heritage and recall its roots in the countryside and on the frontier. All Americans mourn her loss.”
Tour Dates: July through November 2017
Tour Length: 4 Days/3 Nights
Your Package Includes:
- 3 Nights accommodations
- 3 Breakfasts
- 1 Lunch
- 3 Dinners
- Visit to the Sugar Shack and Rockwell Exhibit
- Grandma Moses Bedtime Store
- A Grandma Moses picture book
- Docent led tour at the Bennington Museum
- Visit to the Old First Church
- Visit to Robert Frost’s grave
- Photo op at the Bennington Battle Monument
- Visit to the Will Moses Mt. Nebo Gallery, homestead of Grandma Moses
- Personal greeting and book signing by Will Moses
- Photo op at Grandma Moses’ house
- Time to explore the Big Moose Deli and Country Store
- Participate in a “Jam Session”
- Photo stop at the Quechee Gorge
- Admission to the Billings Farm and Museum
- Butter churning class at Billings Farm
- Tour of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion
- Time to shop at the Vermont Country Store
- Photo op at the “Kissing Bridge”
- Horse drawn wagon ride to the country hoedown with live entertainment
- Admission to Hildene
- Local, step-on-guide for one day
- Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
- Accommodations and breakfasts for the coach driver
- Taxes and Gratuities (Note: Gratuities are not included for the step-on guide and are at your discretion based on service.)
The following NET prices are based on 30 paid travelers and with 30 paid travelers include one complimentary package based on single occupancy. Fewer than 30 paid travelers may result in a price increase and/or elimination of complimentary package. Prices and itinerary are subject to change.
Per person double occupancy: 403.00
Per person single occupancy: 499.00