A treat for my fellow art historians and art lovers - Jackson Pollock’s first retrospective - “A Retrospective Show of the Paintings of Jackson Pollock” - was held at Bennington in 1952! The show was organized by critic Clement Greenberg, one of Pollock’s most fervent supporters. The above photo shows Pollock with one of his paintings in the Deane Carriage Barn.
~ Holly, ‘13
I was perusing the Class of 1956 50th Reunion book that is posted online and came across some memories of Bennington in the 1950s from Geralyn Winner Roden that I have to share:
“Things were different back then. Parents just dropped us off and vanished after unloading our meager belongings. There was only one hall phone for the entire floor. I recallBenningtonhad a policy that prevented freshmen rooming together. We had a grand piano in every house and played bridge after dinner most nights. Never have I had so many grand slams.
I remember walking on a very long wooded path up to Mr. Chabay’s house to take voice lessons. He informed me that my voice “must come from my diaphragm,” which alarmed my seventeen-year-old naïve brain. His wife often invited us there for a delicious Hungarian goulash dinner, which was a first for me.
I recall such wonderful instructors as Mr. Garceau (my counselor) who taught Political Science. He left later to join the Ford Foundation but his classes were delightful. And then there was Mr. Brockway for Government, and Mr. Woody’s Physiology class in the Barn, where on one occasion theDartmouthfootball team was invited to join us for a Davis & Geck movie of a live cataract operation. One by one the boys felt faint and left, while the braveBenningtongirls remained to the end.
I remember the beautiful Green leading down to a loosely constructedNew Englandstone wall where you could see the endless mountains; the boys from Williams trying to get dates on Saturday nights; the State Line Restaurant where you had to sit in the far side of the room in order to get served a drink at eighteen (this was inVermont).
First came Robert Frost. Of course he was wonderful, and then Dylan Thomas arrived with his Under Milk Wood readings. But best of all was Jackson Pollack, who came to teach us. What fun it was to splash and throw paint on the floor covered with huge rolls of brown construction paper. I thought it was odd that they all died very soon after visiting Bennington.”