Vermont Humanities

Haymaking, Barns, and Farm Memories

Vermont Humanities Zoom VT

In his book The Haymakers: A Chronicle of Five Farm Families, Steven Hoffbeck shows that haymaking was more than just harvesting grass, alfalfa, and clover. It was about toil, fears, and the fragile nature of human life. Anyone who grew up on a farm—or wishes they had grown up on a farm—will enjoy the insights and humor of this multimedia presentation. 

Agriculture and Abolition: The Politics of 19th Century Landscape Painting

Manchester Community Library 138 Cemetery Ave, Manchester Center

In his landmark 1864 book, “Man and Nature,” George Perkins Marsh drew distinctions between the “free” landscapes of the prosperous North and the Southern practice of cultivating cotton and tobacco with slave labor. Reviewing Marsh’s ideas, along with the works of Hudson River School artists and their Southern counterparts, Smithsonian curator Eleanor Jones Harvey explores how images of agriculture served abolitionist politics in the 19th century. 

When the Bicycle Came to Vermont

Manchester Community Library 138 Cemetery Ave, Manchester Center

UVM professor Luis Vivanco explores the fascinating early history of the bicycle in Vermont, an invention that generated widespread curiosity when it arrived here in the 1880s. Over the next decade, enthusiasm exploded statewide as bicycles became safer, women took to the wheel, roads improved, and retailers developed novel advertising techniques to draw in buyers.