The Bennington Center for the Arts is a non-profit full-spectrum art center built by local philanthropist Bruce Laumeister and wife Elizabeth Small. The doors opened in 1994 onto two gallery spaces and a 300 seat theater. Much of the artwork that that couple has collected over the years from galleries around the country hangs in the galleries and stairwells when temporary exhibits are not on display. Paintings and bronzes of and by Native Americans dominated the collection in the beginning, along with a very large collection of Navajo rugs, pots, kachinas and jewelry but many exceptional paintings from the fifteen Art of the Animal Kingdom exhibitions have been added to that collection and are often on display as well. These include artwork by such notable artists as Bob Kuhn, Richard Schmid, Charles Frace, Carl Brenders, Morten Solberg and Manfred Schatz. In 1997 an additional two galleries and an executive boardroom were added. 2003 marked the addition of The Covered Bridge Museum, paying homage to these structures throughout recent history but specifically in Vermont where to this day there are 104 working covered bridges. In 2008 a final wing consisting of three more galleries, two workshop spaces, an artist apartment and administrative offices was officially opened.
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