Norman Rockwell Mural Returned To Vermont State Capital
A piece of Vermont history, a photographic mural by artist Norman Rockwell is back in the state capital. The large black-and-white photograph, shown above, "Maple Sugaring in Vermont," was commissioned by Rockwell's friend Col. Henry Fairfax Ayres, who lent it to the state for display. The the 5-by-7-foot mural was made in 1947 and shows men, including Rockwell himself, tending sap buckets hanging on maple trees outside as the sugar house belches smoke into the sky.
The mural hung in the lobby of the state Agency of Agriculture building in Montpelier for years but in 1987, the state lent it to the Norman Rockwell Museum of Vermont while the building underwent renovations. At the museum in Rutland, Vermont it become popular with visitors. Last year Vermont Agriculture Commissioner Roger Allbee (shown above), who was aware of the original loan, started to make inquiries. The museum was attached to the mural and had used it as the anchor of a collection. Eventually the grandson of Col. Ayres was contacted and he said it should go back to the state. While the issue of ownership may have been resolved it's likely that the mural will attract less eyes in its new home in a second-floor hallway of the Agency of Agriculture's office building, across the street from the Statehouse than at the Rockwell Museum.