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Bennington Museum Presents The Mill Children Exhibition

The Bennington Museum Presents The Mill Children an exhibition on view through December 31, 2011.

The Mill Children Poster, digital collage, 2011, Bennington Museum

What was it like to be a child worker in the Eclipse Cotton Mill in North Adams in 1911? This is the question that will be explored in ‘The Mill Children’ on view November 19 through December 31 in the Regional Artists Gallery of the Bennington Museum. The exhibit is a distillation of an exhibit previously held at the Brill Gallery at the Eclipse Mill in North Adams. It features responses to the photos taken by Lewis Wickes Hine at the Eclipse Mill for his child labor project in August 1911 by Realist Painter William Oberst and Abstract Painter Dawn Nelson. A video by filmmaker Steven Borns documenting Oberst’s and Nelson’s artistic process and interviews with historian Joe Manning, who has conducted extensive research on the children depicted in Hine’s photos, will be on view in the exhibit, providing a behind-the-scenes look into this project. Composer/Musician Matt Hopkins created original music speaking to the sounds and moods inside the mill for the original exhibition which will also accompany this exhibit. The art and music talk to the moods inside this Mill 100 years ago. “It’s a centennial of sorts.” states Jamie Franklin, curator of collections at the Bennington Museum. “This exhibit is uniquely different than those previously installed.” In addition to the images from the Eclipse Mill, photos from the Bennington Museum collection reflecting mill housing on Benmont Ave. (formerly Mill St.) taken by Hine, as well as an image of the interior of the Bradford Mill taken around the same time by Frederick Burt are included in the exhibition. These provide local visitors with a sense of the conditions of the local mills at that time. On December 10, an Educational Presentation at 1:30 pm is scheduled to be given by artists and guests. This is followed with the Artists’ Reception at 3:00 pm. –

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