Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Vignettes from Vermont: We Are! Park-McCullough!

Park-McCullough series triptych by Brian Hewitt;
his work at Fiddlehead at Four Corners is HERE

BENNINGTON -- The triptych above was designed by Vermont artist Brian Hewitt and represents one of the most original estates in America. On Friday, March 22, Hewitt's unique 3-piece perspective of the famed Park-McCullough House in North Bennington will be on display, and raffled, during a reception at Fiddlehead at Four Corners art gallery.

Hewitt spent the last 6 months painting the "Park-McCullough House" oils on canvas. They feature the main mansion ("Fall"), carriage barn ("Winter") and greenhouse ("Summer") and all of them sit on easels in the mezzanine at Fiddlehead.

Park-McCullough House series: "Summer"

Park-McCullough House series: "Winter"

Park-McCullough House series: "Fall"

Hewitt painted the Park-McCullough estate using his new favorite style -- fish-eye on diamond canvas -- then made the triptych (matted prints of the originals) to raise awareness for one of New England's favorite mansions built by Henry Dudley of Dudley and Diaper in 1864-65. It's Second Empire Style with Romantic Revival features. 

The triptych is valued at $800.

Trenor Park, who was born in Woodford, just east of Bennington, was a lawyer and entrepreneur who made money hand over fist overseeing the mining interests of John Fremont during California's gold rush. He also made a ton of cash as a lawyer and real estate maven. He married Laura Hall, daughter of Hiland Hall, the son of a Bennington settler and later governor of Vermont and member of Congress.

Trenor and Laura moved to California, but she was an eastern girl at heart so they returned to North B. and moved into their new $75,000 mansion on Christmas Day 1865.

Years later their oldest daughter, Lizzie, married lawyer John McCullough, so that's where the whole Park-McCullough thing comes into play, although the Hall name remains an integral third part of the narrative.

The Park-McCullough estate features a playhouse, carriage barn with horse-drawn carriages and sleighs, and lawns and gardens galore. In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison stayed there while in town to dedicate the Bennington Monument.

For more history on the mansion click here.

Bennington native Ann Jareckie, an organizer for the Park-McCullough celebration and raffle at Fiddlehead at Four Corners, said "Today the house hosts croquet on the lawn in the summer as well as weddings and other events. The Old World splendor of days gone by can be recaptured at the lovely site when time was measured on an entirely different scale compared to today's fast-paced lifestyle."

Each original oil measures 52x52. The series is similar to his 3-piece North Bennington set.

Tickets for the 50x50 glass-framed triptych cost $5 each or $20 for 5. 

The free reception at Fiddlehead (338 Main Street) runs from 4 to 7 p.m. and is open to anyone who loves the Park-McCullough House. It will feature wine from the Bell Vineyard in Napa Valley and music by guitarist Tommy Marshall of North Adams.

Call Fiddlehead (802) 447-1000 for information on where to buy raffle tickets.

Here is a 2-minute video of Brian Hewitt at Fiddlehead talking Park-McCullough House ...

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