Vermont Folklife Center Middlebury Vermont

Vermont Folklife Center Traveling Exhibits

Scott and Fran Prentis with their children and dog, August 13, 1984.  Photograph by Neil Rappaport.

In Place:

The Photographs of Neil Rappaport
Bennington Museum
75 Main Street, Bennington, VT 05201
August 4 - November 3, 2006

The Vermont Folklife Center is pleased to announce the first retrospective exhibit of the work of the late documentary photographer, Neil Rappaport. In conjunction with the exhibit, the Vermont Folklife Center announces the publication of a book of his work, Messages from a Small Town: Photographs Inside Pawlet, Vermont, by his wife Susanne Rappaport.

Neil Rappaport lived and worked in Pawlet, Vermont for nearly thirty years. He was a self-taught photographer who established the photography program at Bennington College, where he served on the faculty from 1970 - 1997. Pawlet was the Rappaports' adopted home and the creative laboratory where Neil's aesthetic vision and technique developed and matured. In 1984, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presented an exhibition of his Pawlet portrait series. Today, his work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.

By the time of his death in 1998, Rappaport had made in depth photographic studies of the area’s slate quarries, family farms and landscape. Most of all, he photographed people—individuals and families at home, at work, at play—in settings of their own choosing. Through his work he created a visual census of the town, one that serves as a time capsule of life in Pawlet from 1980 - 1990.

For years Susanne worked along side her husband recording the stories of the men and women Neil photographed. The book, Messages from a Small Town: Photographs Inside Pawlet, Vermont draws together Neil's Pawlet photographs with selected stories recorded by Susanne, creating a powerful and respectful testament to the people they worked with and lived along side.

Susanne Rappaport has donated the collection of interviews she recorded with Pawlet residents to the Vermont Folklife Center Archive where they will be made available to interested researchers.

In Place: The Photographs of Neil Rappaport will be on display at the Bennington Museum from August 4 through November 3, 2006.

The exhibit, In Place: The Photographs of Neil Rappaport and book, Messages from a Small Town: Photographs Inside Pawlet, Vermont are made possible through the support of the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Community Foundation and the Neil Rappaport Fund.

Special Exhibit Events at the Bennington Museum

Every Picture Tells A Story—Family Workshop
Saturday, October 7, 2006
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

See how the photography of Neil Rappaport gives us glimpses into the places and people that were his subjects. Use your own photos to create stories to share. This family workshop is designed for children and adults to enjoy together. Free for members, non-members $5 per person.

Neil's Students Discuss Neil's Impact
Sunday, October 21, 2006
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Join a panel of Neil Rappaport's former students from around the country as they discuss his lasting impact on the field of photography and on their personal growth under his tutelge. This lively discussion is ideal for both those who knew Neil and those who want to discover the man behind the art.. This program is free with museum admission.

Previous Exhibit Sites

Vermont Folklife Center, Middlebury, Vermont. June 24-November 12, 2005.
Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls, NY. January 21 - April 20, 2006

Forthcoming Exhibit Sites

To Be Annouced.

Hours of Operation
Exhibit and Sales Galleries :: Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm
Archive & Research Center :: By Appointment
Office :: Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm

Vermont Folklife Center
88 Main Street
Middlebury, VT 05753
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