Inside Bennington Museum's collection: Early Mass on Easter Sunday, 1937

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Early Mass on Easter Sunday, 1937

Leroy Williams (1878-1965)

Oil on canvas, 96"H x 120"W

Bennington Museum Collection, Courtesy of the Fine Arts Collection, U.S. General Services Administration WPA, Federal Art Project, 1935-1943

Over 40,000 artists and other talented workers were employed during the Great Depression through the Works Progress Administration (WPA) for cultural projects. Early Mass on Easter Sunday was the first work that resulted in the collaboration between Vermont' Federal Art Project and the Bennington Museum. The painting depicts the old St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church overflowing with faithful parishioners on a snowy Vermont Easter. Construction on the new St. Francis down the road began in 1889 and the first Mass in the new church was held on Easter Sunday, April 17, 1892. The old building became the Bennington Museum, which opened in 1928.

While the Bennington Museum is closed, we invite you to explore our online database: found on our website under Collections/Research. And be sure to tune into our Tours at Tenon the Museum Facebook page for great programming about our collection, galleries, history, and so much more. We also welcome your ideas and suggestions. Send them to

Looking forward to seeing you soon. Stay well.



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