Gallery to Hold Exhibits for Anniversary

MONTPELIER – The T.W. Wood Gallery: A Museum of American Art announces the celebration of the 125th anniversary of its founding with a series of exhibits of its historic collection, in collaboration with civic institutions throughout the city of Montpelier, September through December.

On August 8, 1895, American master artist Thomas Waterman Wood (1823-1903) gathered with an assembly of Vermonters to announce the creation of the museum by gifting to the city of Montpelier selections of his own artwork as well as important works of his contemporaries. Since then the collection has expanded to include additional Wood pieces, other 19th century masterworks, and iconic prints and paintings of the 20th century. This unusual collection will be on display at the gallery and at various Montpelier institutions as the city joins the T.W. Wood in celebrating the founding of the first art museum in the state of Vermont.

courtesy photo
“The Quack Doctor,” oil on canvas, 1882, T.W. Wood Collection.

The repository of art at the T.W. Wood Gallery, says Montpelier Mayor Anne Watson, “represents a significant part of our cultural history.” She notes that the celebration of the anniversary with civic organizations across the city of Montpelier, “carries on the legacy of Thomas Waterman Wood’s value of art for everyone.” 

Anniversary exhibit locations and shows include: Nuquist Gallery: Thomas Waterman Wood and the Landscape. Landscape painting was a significant genre for 19th century American art. This exhibit features landscapes of Thomas Waterman Wood and his Hudson River contemporaries such as Asher B. Durand, J.G. Brown, Edward Gay, and others. Many of these paintings have been on loan to the Vermont State House and have not been seen at the Gallery for decades; Wood Room: Realism and Narrative: The Paintings of Thomas Waterman Wood. Wood’s prodigious career included portraits, genre paintings (many of Vermont scenes and people), and copies after the great masters (which he created so that Vermonters could experience classic European artworks). Of note, the historic painting of downtown Montpelier, “The Quack Doctor,” will be on display; WPA Room: Social Realism to Abstraction: Paintings of the WPA Collection of the T.W. Wood Gallery. The WPA (Works Progress Administration) collection is one of the highlights of the Gallery’s holdings. On permanent loan to the T.W. Wood Gallery as part of the New Deal program, the Gallery has 90 works of art from the Federal Government. The WPA Room of the T.W. Wood Gallery will display paintings by artists such as Joseph Stella, Irwin Hoffman, Mabel Dwight, and others.

T.W. Wood curator Phillip Robertson is offering guided tours of the 125th anniversary exhibits at the T.W. Wood Gallery. Interested persons should contact the gallery to reserve a private tour on one of the following dates: September 12 (11 a.m. and 2 p.m.), October 10 (11 a.m. and 2 p.m.), November 14 (11 a.m. and 2 p.m.) and December 12 (11 a.m. and 2 p.m.). To RSVP, visit Limit of eight guests per gallery tour.

Interested persons should contact the particular venue to confirm hours, as they may change due to CIVID-19.

The gallery is located at 46 Barre Street. The gallery is free and open by reservation only.

Also on exhibit at Vermont History Museum, 109 State Street, Montpelier, through January 9, 2021, WPA Prints from the T.W. Wood Gallery. For the first time ever, the T.W. Wood Gallery will be exhibiting all the prints from the WPA Collection in one space, featuring 37 prints by early and mid-20th century artists including Hazel Jackson, Vermont artist Ronald Slayton, and Raphael Soyer. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 802-828-2291 or visit the Vermont History Museum website for updated hours of operation.

At the Montpelier City Hall Showcases, 39 Main Street, through December 24, Thomas Waterman Wood: A Master Printmaker. While Wood is best known as a portrait painter and a painter of genre scenes of everyday life in 19th century Vermont, he was also a master printmaker, whose work was regularly published in Harper’s Weekly. This exhibit will feature many of the etchings in the Gallery’s collection. City Hall is open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 802-223-9502 or visit their website for updated hours.

The Kellogg-Hubbard Library Kitzmiller Room, 135 Main Street, will exhibit through December 24, The Preparatory Sketches of Thomas Waterman Wood. A prolific artist during his lifetime, Wood climbed the 19th century art ladder all the way to becoming president of the National Academy of Design. For his well-known genre scenes of everyday life he made countless oil sketches of his subjects and their environments. The Kellogg-Hubbard Library will exhibit a selection of some of the finest oil studies in the Gallery’s collection. The Library is open to the public on Wednesdays from 2-7 p.m. and Fridays 10-3 p.m. Call 802-223-3338 or visit their website at for updated hours.